The buses have traveled this route
For more than sixty years,
And before that, as trolleys.
The Hall has morphed into
More than a dozen stores and shops,
A dentist, three restaurants,
And less describable establishments
When we were all younger,
The corner held Alexander’s.
The movie theater –theatre then-
Claimed stairs, a stage and curtains
That rivaled the Arabian nights.
An Empire about to fall,
But how could we know?
If I go back in my more than mind’s eye
The time before I am born,
The voices echo across the entrance
And into the wedding hall.
All kinds and levels of English, some Yiddish,
Most but not all from New York.
They argue, they laugh, they suggest,
They’ve organized, whether shops, a crowd,
sister or fellow workers.
And this wedding.
So many voices, annoying, dissonant,
They live again
As the rabbi invokes the blessing
For those who don’t necessarily believe
But have yielded up precedence
To the old ways and wishes of the old
For the night.
Tiny yet determined,
Stands like a small but strong tree.
Soon the grandparents-who-will-be will dance.