Rosemead

As my feet tread carefully on the ground in Rosemead, California,
My head considers the air from Auburn, Alabama,
Reviewing God, gold, and guns.
Mises fought Keynsians and Socialist fiat,
Nock the godless Stalins.
Can you really know the world
From inside your car?
Get out . . . fill in the space.
Feel the uneven sidewalk.
Observe the pushing of a spiny weed through concrete.
Peer down a lane and find the farthest point,
And measure it perpendicular to the street.
Pay attention to business doors opening.
The sun is climbing over San Jacinto.
Business won’t relent, thank God.
Owners clever lure you with a flashing, neon door.
Amidst the glitz and the glamour, don’t overlook the landmarks:
Burger King, Super A Foods, and Denny’s.
The boulevard rushes vibrantly.

The crosswalk signal is cold to the touch.
Drivers impatiently pull out of a gas station.
A shop is abandoned. Investment miscalculated.
The lights at Goody’s restaurant are out.
In the red obscures the diner orange Naugahyde booths.
A visit back to Auburn to Rockwell, DiLorenzo, and Block.
Then cherished memories of 6-laned Las Tunas Boulevard:
Shakey’s pizza, miniature golf, and O’Donnell Chevrolet,
All from inside my Dad’s ’62 baby-blue Volkswagen bug.
Vincenzo’s is gone, the picnic red and white, candle-dripping Chianti.
Mike Byers ate there on his runs to the San Gabriel Valley.
Beto’s replaced it, courted local authorities. He’s gone too.
Cannot forget improbable Broadway Avenue.
The hospital where grandfather took his last breath.
His body and large head laid out for viewing.
I knelt at my dad’s side,
Studying his grandpa’s rigorous body.
My dad prayed. Grandpa’s spirit wasn’t dead.
His storied-life was mapped out on my father’s intersecting mind.
His body was smaller than I’d remembered him.
In a convalescent hospital on San Gabriel Blvd.
The world seemed black and white and stark.
Dad colored it. Made it interesting.

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