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Poem: “Towers loom”

Towers loom

By Patrick T. Reardon

Loop towers loom behind their

gleam, and I can take you to the

parking lot just off Dearborn

Street where the Mayor and

reporters went down into

unflooded freight tunnels

(although that lot is likely gone

now, 26 years later).

Alex and I drove south to north

from city border to city border

through alleys of Chicago, world 

alley capital. I saw a garage sale

chair and came back later to buy.

If you walk under the Loop and

follow the tracks west down Lake

Street — the soldierly tromp of

steel frames to oblivion — you

follow my brother’s walk as a

twelve-year-old through a Sunday

summer afternoon (through black 

hot neighborhoods where young

men and old, grandmothers and

skip-ropers saw him as a gray

-dungareed shaman, magic blond

boy), up back stairs, to the

Leamington second floor, 52

years before self-murder.

Younger, he and I crawled

around the new-poured 

foundation of a Washington 

Boulevard building, so muddy

and our bikes, we had to walk 

them home to the double-

spanking for the double of us

by Dad, on the porch, then

after the bath in bed.

Up Western from 79th Street, I

drove to Chicago (800 north)

and turned left, out to the

reporter job in Austin.  A

right turn, and, in a mile,

Ashland, where, thirty 

years later, I walked with

Sandra the grit Chicago that

abraded her out to the 

southwest and Mexico and

back southwest again, talking 

of the dust on medical 

implements in the drug store

window, dowdy Rexall, and,

a decade later, my son and

his wife live there in a duplex 

with two fireplaces and never 

saw the Rexall, gone now. 

They can walk to work in

the Loop in looming towers.

Patrick T. Reardon


The poem was originally published on 6.13.19 by The Esthetic Apostle.

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