Many of these poems will be of the city of Schenectady from early 1900 to the present.


Thursday, February 10, 2011



Did you walk with me
on these streets
where cars were once
cluttered, where men
in uniforms and white
gloves - stopped us?

Look, there was no over-pass
for trains or people hiding
from the rain - kissing.

Remember when we would
cuddle so close together
just past the over-pass
as you parked your Cutlass
behind the State Theatre?
Oh, I know you remember…

Yes – before the over-pass
did men and women our
age hold hands in front of
the Strand Movie House? –
They walked for hours to get
there but for what?

The lines weren’t for James
Bond, or for free candy if
you purchased tickets
earlier in the day, no – it was
for bugs. Bugs – the owner
of the Strand, made children
line up against a wall while

heads were checked, all
the immigrants, those who
couldn’t speak a word of
English, has to prove they
could sit in one of their
chairs with other children.

You see, the man, he
sprayed those children, made
sure they didn’t bring inside
one single bug from -
Ellis Island, or had any
sticking to their tattered
sweaters. Wonder what they
were sprayed with?

Wonder if you forgot those
I will never forget you?
You disappeared as if taken
by a dark shadow behind red
velvet curtains -
Did the man remove you?
Were you an immigrant from
the past?

I know you never had bugs
nor did they check you at the
State Theatre – we were
someones dream back then, but
or those hot nights – on Route 9

when we enjoyed Malta Drive-in
outside movies, in cars, yes -
your Cutlass and yes, bugs
did come through open windows
opened to let some air inside
your Cutlass - remember
the stick you used to drive the
car between bucket seats?

Bugs did fly around us, but
did it matter?

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

No comments: