‘Tides and Cracked Sidewalks’
Please enjoy this poem by Christina.
You’d all congregate on cracked sidewalks
Joining in childhood rituals in your
Soft new world. Just beyond
The walls of your houses, home extends out
To a tiny village of people,
Sure, their words are different
Maybe the fabrics, and the food
But your stories are all the same.
The familiar faces are pushed out.
The sound of tomato sauce
Being hand-stirred in a garage
Is replaced with a fastidious silence.
The stores your family
and all the families
Went to, whose owners lived
Just up the street, is replaced with
A mall full of stores
Better suited for the neighbourhoods
It draws them in like a tide,
Water spreads out and
With creeping tendrils
It seeks out barren ground
To bring its own definition of prosperity,
Nevermind whatever ecosystem
Had been established before its arrival.
Desert life surely will drown
In the presence of such a flood.
But hey, that's just what water does.
You almost can’t be mad.
When your nonna passes away,
Your family decides to divvy up
The costs of her whole life.
Her home, where all your roots
First touched down on this soil,
It’ll be sold to someone
Looking to tear it all down
And build something better suited
To withstand the tide
Your grandma’s house is washed away
Like old driftwood
By the same oceans that
Furiously beat her boat
When she first stepped onto shore.
Someday in the future,
You’ll walk by those old streets
And see that what remains of
The old neighbourhood is just a skeleton
That’s already been encased in new flesh
And you’ll feel a twinge
Of familiarity, and loss
When you see how they’ve filled in
All the cracks in the sidewalks.
This article originally appeared in The Sidewalk Issue, published April 5, 2022.