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POEM: Hand-me-downs


The first time I breathed in air,
it was the air of Pittsfield.
My mother took her first lungful
in the same town, as did
my grandfather before her.
I walk from city hall
to the Indian restaurant,
next door to where my grandma
worked in the beauty salon,
although the salon and the
entire department store that housed it
are no more than distant memories,
sand castles swept away
by the tide of urban renewal.
I walk another block past my grandpa’s
high school; I wore his graduation ring
on my pinkie for years,
marveling at his small hands.
My own hands are too big now.
It no longer fits.

/ / /

6 June 2022
Pittsfield MA

Published in Family Massachusetts My poems Poetry


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