Genesee Street

"Genesee Street"

by Jeph Johnson

 

I hurried to my mailbox
for my mom had paid the fare
704 N.E. 99th, opened it up,
and they were there!
plane tickets south from drizzle town
where mom and sis had moved,
Jen was searchin' for the big time,
Mom was listenin' to blues.
So off to California
on a big ol' jet airplane
There were just too many people
and too many things to see
I rode around this mammoth town
with my sister and her spouse
It took us three whole hours
just to get to their house
We took our travels up and down
the famous Hollywood Boulevard
Lights and cameras flashed at me
like I was some movie star
But we were only buying time
'til we could be on our way
Towards the hot dry desert winds
of Palm Springs the next day
But at night close to the building
where CBS broadcasts TV
I noticed we had passed a sign-
a street called "Genesee"
Now back home in Poetland Oregon,
I had only known this name
As a pin on a beautiful waitress-
Her main claim to fame 

So we hurried back the next morning
with a camera to shoot
Pictures of the "Genesee" sign,
because I thought it would be cute
To get a picture of me smiling there
right next to her sign
Waving in the Hollywood sun
at "Genesee and Vine"
So I took the film and shot exposures
one to thirty-six
Threw the camera in my suitcase
and forgot all about the pics
California ended
we taxied in to PDX
Disembarked heading to Dennys,
one of my common treks
I looked for her to take my order
but she had up and gone
Headed north, right past Vancouver
to a different restaurant
Now my cousin mentioned later
that Seattle also had
A park called Genesee
she had noticed in a cab
So I wonder why other cities
are so generously blessed
With streets and parks wonderfully named
when Poetland's been her nest?
So now that she has left me,
heading North in her retreat
I propose renaming 99th
"Genesee Street"

Author's Notes/Comments: 

1999

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