Gray lines of women at the North Flint Plaza
Waiting their due, surplus cheese and butter
We can't use, the lines that shuffle
Down the weed-split sidewalks,
Past the boarded-up display windows
Of the Fair, United Shirt, Nobil Shoes,
While at the curb monstrous green Buicks
Idle and rust. The day is overcast,
Threatening drizzle, feinting autumn
And further calamity. I drive by, this,
My old neighborhood, this shopping center
Our hangout, a pack of Luckies secreted
Behind a loose brick, our leather jackets
With The Royals on the back,
Our pointed Flagg Bros. shoes, and duck ass hair.
We the pioneers. These the women we went
To school with who never moved away,
Whom we never spoke to, let alone dated,
Or whom we desired, but never let on.
Flint, a city as hard and abrupt as its
Quick-bitten name. Home of Chevy-in-the-Hole,
Where men like my father got used to days
Etched thin and gritty as Mohawk vodka
And steel shavings in their aching hands
And little wretched patches of back-yards
Where they maybe played catch
With their kids before the noon whistle.
See how easily those women are forgotten?
Even in poems devoted to their bad luck.
— Danny Rendleman
Ty for letting me read your talented & I liked the images you painted with your poem. Flint lifer from the westside.ReplyDelete
Yes. Evocative and touching poem. Thank you, Mr. Rendleman.Delete
MY OLD FACTORY TOWNReplyDelete
The ever churning droning noise of my old factory town,
It always existed, though more pronounced after the sun went down.
Warm summer nights the moon beamed its light through the propped open windows screen
Along with this sound which my ears always found but never considered its means.
Passed down through labors of generations past providing my youths bliss
At the time unrecognized how rare indeed an inheritance such as this.
Gritty, dirty work for all, yet every family stood quite tall
With pride in all their sweat and toil, a community to itself was loyal
Today it only seems a dream that a place like this existed.
I tell the tales to my children now only saddened that they’ve missed it.
My old factory town, it’s crumbling down with nothing left to save her
Oh what I’d give to hear that droning sound once more, now a fading time to savor.
I would have never thought such a masterpiece would have the North Flint Plaza as its subject. Please consider sharing more with us.ReplyDelete
(Just a technicality, but I know Federal's Department Store was in this plaza, the Taubman Company's first project believe it or not, but I'm quite certain that the Fair Store, as mentioned, was actually at the South Flint Plaza.)
The Fair was actually at both the North and South Flint Plazas. I shopped at both stores over the years.Delete
The Fair was at the Northwest Flint Plaza at the SW corner of Pierson and Clio Roads. The only venue large enough for a store like that at the North Flint Plaza, at the NW corner of Pierson Rd and Detroit St, was occupied by the Federals store, which was still there when I left in the mid-60s.ReplyDelete