Dan Vera


(For Sterling Brown and Brookland)

If Sterling were alive I imagine him walking down 12th street.
Or running into him at the hardware store
Or eating breakfast with Daisy at Murry & Paul’s.

I am sure I’d see Dutch being greeted by name at the post office
While he waited in line for the friendly postal clerk
You know the one,
In the last window with the only smiling face?

But I am just imagining this.
I never knew him or his steps in this place.
But I can imagine.
We can imagine what it means to live in a place with history.
We can remember even what we have never known.

When the new market opens on 12th street.
Let us remember the old Coop that struggled
......and gave people fresh produce while it struggled.
Let us remember the Safeway that stood there before that.
Let us remember the houses that gave way for the Safeway.
Let us remember the hillside that gave way for the houses.
Let us remember the woods that Ann Brooks spied
...... ......from the back window of the mansion.
...... ......when all the hills were wooded and green long ago.



Dan Vera was born in South Texas and lived in Colorado, Washington State and Chicago before moving to He is Co-Editor and Publisher of Vrzhu Press, Managing Editor and Designer of White Crane, founder of Brookland Area Writers & Artists and, and a member of the Triangle Artists Group. His poetry has been featured in Shaping Sanctuary: Proclaiming God's Grace in an Inclusive Church, DC Poets Against The War: An Anthology, Red Wheelbarrow, and Raddish, and the chapbook, Crepusculario. His poetry has also been featured on Pacifica Radio's nationally broadcast Peace Watch program. He lives in the Brookland neighborhood with his partner Peter and their operatic dog Roofus.


Published in Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2007.


To read more by this author:
Dan Vera
Dan Vera: Split This Rock Issue

Kim Roberts and Vera on DC Author's Houses: Forebears Issue
Dan Vera's Intro to the US Poets Laureate Issue (Fall 2009)
Dan Vera on Four Laureates: US Poets Laureate Issue

Dan Vera: Tenth Anniversary Issue
Dan Vera: Langston Hughes Tribute Issue
Dan Vera: Floricanto Issue
Dan Vera on Sterling A. Brown: Poetic Ancestors Issue