Pamela Anderson

Coming Home

West · Steelyard · Poetry

for Al

Your dad steers with his left hand—right arm
draped across the back of the seat—thumb and index finger
pressed into your mom’s shoulder. He maps his territory
as he cruises out of the Ozarks on Route 63—
past the confluence of the two big rivers—and eventually
hitting 71 for that long haul to the place where flames
surge from the stacks in Cleveland’s Steelyard.
That’s where men crank out three shifts a day—
where your father’s life grinds forward
like a slow peeling away of the sky.
From here, it’s just a stone’s throw
to the old pavilion at Nautica.
You remember the Allman Brothers wailing
their southern rock—small boats drifting
along the Cuyahoga and music filling you up
like a bottle of cold beer on a burning summer day.
Sometimes, coming home
is the only thing that matters.

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson’s poetry has appeared in a number of online and in-print journals (Jenny, Whurk, Atticus Review, and others). Her new poetry chapbook—Just the Girls: A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies; A Drift of Honeybees—was released in August 2020 by The Poetry Box Press.


Neighborhood Voices is a city-wide creative writing project designed by Literary Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library to engage writers across Cleveland, allowing residents to connect with neighbors, share stories of their community, and draft new writing about what makes their neighborhood unique.


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325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Project Created By Literary Cleveland

Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization and creative writing center that empowers people to explore other voices and discover their own. Through an expanding roster of multi-level classes, workshops and events, Literary Cleveland assists writers and readers at all stages of development, promotes new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advances Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.

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Founded in 1869, Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit