Erie darling, you’ve pulled me
here, my Atlantic, my Ellis
Island. Your brothers, sisters
seemed indifferent, dumping
God knows what into your vastness.
Diving deeper through the green
pea soup of bricks and tile, of algae
cauldron of midges yet to rise
their swirling clouds hovering
over roaring freeways.
Three winters now, you no longer pull
your thick white blanket. Instead flinging
lace curtains across the trees, furiously
chewing your edges, tumbling oaks
and sycamores alike, rounding
them into bleached bare bones.
Oh Crib, tiny orange period
to end city’s sentence, filler
of coffee pot, water pitcher.
We’re made more of you
than you of us.
Some nights I dream you’ll take
me from this house, the kitchen
cabinets strewn wreckage, we’ll cling
to anything left floating, the dishes,
glasses becoming polished pebbles. Look––
there’s an old Euclid Beach marble
sand blasted smaller, an agate moon.
Michael Loderstedt is a near thirty-year resident of the North Collinwood “beach streets” where he’s refurbished an old summer cottage and built a studio. He loves this neighborhood next to Lake Erie, a quiet community nestled within the city. He also runs Photocentric, a contemporary photography gallery in the Waterloo Arts District. He is a retired art professor from Kent State University, now concentrating on his writing and studio work. He received a 2019 OAC Fellowship for Non-Fiction for a draft of his memoir The Yellowhammer’s Cross. His visual work is held in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Akron Art Museum, Progressive Insurance and the Cleveland Clinic and many others.
Cleveland Public Library
325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114
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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