Desertion*

He rode past his old home 
     and it looked quite nice 
with the postage stamp 
     front lawn and fenced in 
backyard. Then he 
     passed his old church,
gospel sing at six, 
     and saw his cousin 
fall on the front step
     breaking her arm. Just 
up the street was what
     was left of his grand-
parents home where 
     he and his folks spent 
every Sunday afternoon
     eating supper, playing 
Carrom and watching 
     Lawrence Welk. He 
drove “Up the Ave.” as 
     Michigan Ave. was 
called back in the day
     and maybe to this day.
It looked like a bombed 
     out street in Syria. He 
thought about crossing 
     Halsted Street to 
see his old grade school
     but he turned left and 
headed south just as 
     his parents had done
sixty-four years ago
     in what was known
as “White Flight,”
     as, perhaps, it still 
is.

*idea from the poem "Mercy, Mercy, Me"
by John Murillo
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