Monday, December 22, 2014

an ode to Minnesota

I tear through the Philadelphia airport,
my feet racing to my next gate
(just a few moments to spare!),
the gate that will take me home to
the Winter Wonderland of my origin.
I think I am in love with Philadelphia,
simply because she is not New York.
I grin like a dope as I speed-walk
through the terminals,
And I think "God only Knows"
plays in my head and I understand
the magic of traveling home.
I make it to my plane (woo!)
And fall asleep next to a skinny man
with a ukulele and a perfectly trimmed beard.
I let the sea of clouds and patches
of farmland roll under the wing of the aircraft
unheeded and unwatched, because I must
hibernate until we reach the Lindbergh terminal.
The dust of Minnesotan shores kisses my feet,
and I am tempted to bow down and kiss
the neatly tiled floors of D'Amico & Sons,
shining like a diamond in a bog,
because it is the most Minnesotan of all corner cafés,
and I beam at every single person I meet,
and they smile back, but we're too concerned about
respecting each other's personal space to say: "good morning"
so we just smile, because we want to assure them that we
wish them well, and hope they have a Merry Christmas,
or whatever holiday they celebrate.
But let's be honest, it's probably Christmas,
with lots of jello mold and lutefisk,
and grandpa baking blueberry pie while grandma stokes the fire--
real fire, with real logs in a real fireplace--that sends
swirls of smoke up into the crisp, navy-blue night sky,
cut by the teeth-like shadows of evergreen trees
which surround their modest house.
Everyone I pass is slender, tall, and tow-haired;
even the Jewish man with yarmulke and ritual fringes
looks like he descended from some Nordic god.
They are denizens of the snowy north.
The shitty upholstery of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport
is a welcome sight to city-sore eyes.
It is blessèd because it is a part of this fair city:
clean, comfortable, and each person looks
like they belong in the wild outdoors,
kayaking or biking along the Grand Rounds
in summertime by Minnehaha.
And then I come home to my cul-de-sac,
And all our halls are decked with Christmas decorations.
And inside my refrigerator there are
peanut butter chocolate chip scones.
Oh, truly, there is a balm in Gilead.

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