‘Tides and Cracked Sidewalks’

Please enjoy this poem by Christina.

‘This way” sign. Photo Stella Mazurek

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,

Your family.

Sure, their words are different 

Maybe the fabrics, and the food 

But your stories are all the same.


Things change, 

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

Just over. 


It draws them in like a tide, 


Water spreads out and 

Reshapes landscapes. 

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 

Sweeping through.  


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.