125 E. Central Parkway, For Example

When I walk around downtown Cincinnati where I live, I try to pay attention to the people and the area around me. I don’t wear ear buds, so I can hear what people are saying to each other and to me. The buildings, the roads, and even the parking lots also have a story to tell. Old photos of the city show me what buildings used to be where I am standing. But there are other clues. There is a surface parking lot on Central Parkway where a building once stood. There is a spot where the pavement has eroded or broken away and the tiled entryway of the old building peaks through. It’s live archeology every time I walk to the library.

Here’s a poem about the ghosts of buildings.


125 E. Central Parkway, For Example

Tiled entryways
to long demolished buildings
peak through
the pavement of parking lots

I can picture people who crossed these thresholds
men in fedoras and women wearing gloves
standing in the elegant lobby
stepping into the elevator
nodding to the operator
riding to a wood paneled office on the eight floor
taking care of serious business downtown

Would they not be astonished
what they knew as
grand and substantial
real and permanent
had left barely a footprint

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