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A Long Walk

by George Hoerner

i walk the big city streets
holding hands with the night strolling
past shop windows down Fifth Avenue

i hear whispering in my ears
it is a litany of gifts
just beyond the door

as passersby ignore my friend and i
we move across Forty Second street
and up seedy Seventh Avenue

with my love still holding my hand
we ignore the pimps and their women,
the drugs, and the drugies

we approach Carnegie Hall
night with her eyes closed against the light
she listens for the music she loves

saying they play less and less
classical music every year
with a sigh we turn and walk
back along Fifty-ninth past the Plaza

no time for a drink as time slides on
we take a carriage ride at Fifth Avenue
and head into Central Park
as night opens her eyes wide

she peers at the brave hearts we pass by
they in return ignore us with locked lips
or what ever else suites their fancy

we disembark at the now closed Metropolitan
we walk east on Eighty-second and
at Madison Ave we head back down
past the many art galleries

long closed now as time refuses
night’s request to slow to our pace
we see the occasional doorway housing
a single occupant or a clinging couple

if they see my companion at all
they ask her to leave and bring the sun
we move on and turn west on Fifty-third

crossing Fifth Avenue again we approach
the sculpture garden behind MOMA
barely squeezing between the iron bars

she reminds me i need to lose some weight
as we sit on one of the benches briefly
the sky is still dark but night shivers
saying she can almost feel the sun
pulsing to chase her from my side

i whisper in her ear but nothing
will console her as she takes a deep breath
and exhales a heavy fog around us
and says “another night” and leaves me

my eyes blink and open slowly
she is gone and i see the first
slivers of light begin to appear
in the morning sky

i shall return again tonight
searching for what i will not find


Posted on 12/12/2009
Copyright © 2023 George Hoerner

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 12/13/09 at 12:06 AM

Makes me want to hit those great cities again. It's been too damn long. Heh. Nice work, man. Really, really nice. The imagery in those first few stanzas is particularly outstanding.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 12/13/09 at 04:14 PM

...george, i noticed gabe remarked positively about this gem...well, he knows good writing and he writes like this, he woulda had a few more characters but this is a delightful read, i couldn't get off that walk (i was whomever in this work)...a great write...and you can do (as gabe is a master at) long pomes...

Posted by Glenn Currier on 12/16/09 at 04:38 PM

Well, I must confess to you, dear poet magnificent, that I myself paused with you four times, tearing up, my voice cracking at the art, the romance, the dark landscape of human feeling as I read this aloud to myself and the birds in the bird feeder beyond the garden room windows. I am glad I have walked Manhattan streets enough to capture some of the flavor from my old memory as I read. This is just the kind of thing I needed to place me in the spirit of the season. And finally, I must say, you HAVE found something precious in your search even though it might not match what you imagined in your mind's eye. Thanks for this walkpainting, George.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 04/24/12 at 01:00 PM

this is a great picture you paint, George of a night On The Town. it is great to know you ventured where I ventured in That Town and I must be careful not to walk on your footsteps. we probably walked the same paths, sat on the same benches in Central Park, and witnessed the same trees and mired into the eyes of the same squirrels and pigeons, which I fed contrary to the law's wishes.

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