THE EVOLVING CITY
STERLING ON 12th STREET
(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
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
the back window of the mansion.
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 MenKnit.net, 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:
Split This Rock Issue
and Vera on DC
Author's Houses: Forebears Issue
Intro to the US Poets Laureate Issue (Fall 2009)
Dan Vera on Four
Laureates: US Poets Laureate Issue
Vera: Tenth Anniversary Issue
Vera: Langston Hughes Tribute Issue
Vera: Floricanto Issue
Dan Vera on Sterling A. Brown: Poetic Ancestors Issue