Good Old New York Poem by Laurence Overmire

Good Old New York

You love it, you hate it
There's no escaping the
Mad impassioned voice of freedom
Crying from its streets
The hold it takes upon your heart

From the quiet oasis of Central Park
To the honking blast of Broadway
From the proud progressive stateliness of
Rockefeller Center to
The broken-bottle wasteland of
The Bowery

From the Cloisters quiet contemplation
To the swirling artistry of the Guggenheim
From the bohemian tree-lined
Greenwich Village lanes
To the posh pretentious shops of the
Upper East Side

From the cavernous vault of Wall Street
To the Empire State Building, the Chrysler
Madison Square Garden
Lincoln Center and the Met
And the vacant place on the island's southwest corner
Where twin towers once stood like sentinels
Left a hole in the city's heart

Memories, dreams, and lost ambitions
New Yorkers will never forget

From Queens' ethnic neighborhoods
To Brooklyn's fabled bridge
To the House That Ruth Built
Buried in the hot, molten center of the Bronx
To the yearning howl of Harlem that
Refuses to be ignored

This is America
Like it or not
This is the place where Liberty stands
Boldly casting its light upon the world's
Darkest waters

No matter when you leave
You'll always come back
Its memory stings and suckles
The cold fresh slap of humanity
Full in the face
Honest and true

If there is to be a future
Spanned like so many bridges
Across the narrow straits of our divide
That future is

New York.

~ Laurence Overmire

(Previously published in New York Minute: An Actor's Memoir, Indelible Mark Publishing,2017)

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