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Robert J Meyer

(1957 / Columbus, NE)

Sunrise in Chicago River West


Showering down an arc of meteors as it clacks across an off-kilter joint,
The 'L' grumbles above Lake Street,
Smearing early morning as the Kosher butchers trundle their loads up ramps into the hungering maw of road behemoths snoring in anticipation.

The sky moves from bruised to blue.
There's chocolate in the air at the corner of Halsted
Inviting me to cross the backward flow of home's river rushing toward the glacial scar the city embraces.

The spider web of streets converge at Grand Avenue
As diesel-spewing buses, empty for a few more hours, huff
And a bowler-hatted Buddha smiles and invites all comers in for patchouli and jasmine tea at a bistro down the block.

Taxis chuff quietly in queues as do their Babel of drivers at Finkel's Deli at North Branch.
No fares to collect until the third edition wheels out of the Tribune's presses just up the road
Even though the bulldog is already scattered and tattered in the parking lot.

Teeter tottering above the canal as a mast makes its way past at road level,
An exclamation point slowly passing while the bridge stands at attention,
The roadway rumbles as the steel slowly lowers to kiss the further shore.

Such is the greeting Sol gets each Chicago morning as I saunter through the core
And it climbs from floor to floor up the gaudy Hancock with its pronged crown.
Sinatra said its all razzmatazz, but I know it really rumbles at dawn.

Submitted: Saturday, August 25, 2007
Edited: Thursday, March 31, 2011

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