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Robbinsdale

by Richard Vince

She was always annoyed that
You could not see the join
Between suburb and city.

To my eyes, trained on places
That grew together, like a
Forest canopy that appears
Gestalt, indivisible, a single
Symbiotic entity, it made sense:
I could not understand
What the fuss was about.

It was, I realise now, a question
Of identity, where what matters is
Who you are not. The irony in
The years I have spent making
The same arguments is
Not lost on me.

Still, we came from different
Places: I sought to preserve
A history, a distinctiveness that
Was gradually fading; her home was
Built entirely on the notion
Of what it was not.

07/26/2018

Author's Note: Part 2 of 2. Part 1: "Minnetrista".

Posted on 08/05/2018
Copyright © 2018 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Glenn Currier on 08/07/18 at 03:46 AM

Richard, your poem got me to thinking of the effect of place on identity. I worked downtown for many many years and being from the suburbs, it was a bit of a culture shock for me at first. But I adapted and I became and gloried in being an urbanite, often thinking of actually moving downtown. It is like another world in some ways. Your poem makes me wonder about that urban identity and where it is now that I have retired to the suburbs. I think it is still there and I will always have part of me that is a city boy. Now, that last stanza makes me feel sad in its nihilism. But then, I wonder if part of who I am is my idea of what I am not. Now plugging that into "home" is another matter entirely. Thanks for waking me up so late at night. Great write.

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