As is the task of all the We Love DC bloggers, I set down to put what I love about this place into words. However, as I’m the upteenth member of the team, I had a feeling that much of what I could contribute would have been well-tred soil. So, instead, I have composed an Ode in three parts.
O Capital, that small, stately un-state
Your sunset runs full down Mass Avenue
As tired Hill workers jog, or shuffle home late.
From Metro stations trumpet strains issue
while I descend and stand, alone, observing,
Hearing the “ding ding ding”–the sound of You;
We roll our eyes at tourists, how unnerving
(they don’t know Your rules, do they, at all?)
But I too, am passing through, undeserving.
How great your wonders: from that broad lawn, the Mall
to nooks like Kelly’s, with its broken bar
and political grafitti in its stalls.
“Washington’s” dirtiest dealings cannot tar
True district, patient district, what You are.
Even your minor flaws I find endearing:
Such as your resident’s potent fear of snow
and the oppressive heat of summer nearing.
Trotting home, the folks I pass all say hello
Women on H call me honey and say ‘god bless’;
It’s okay, you’ve taught me, to take it slow.
How brilliant your blossoms as they egress!
–I swore I wouldn’t mention cherry trees
until I saw the Tidal Basin… ah, I digress
There’s less simplicity than I can write, less ease
In both of Us I feel the bad as much as good
There are disparities, and ambition, that disease
All aching for change if only we could
mark it. O DC, I know You wish we would.
Weekends we brunch, or wander your streets at least
Buy the market’s apples, fresh cut flowers,
O Eastern Market: full of babies, dogs, families.
Kramer’s and Capital Books have stolen hours
Though rather than read, I see Your art,
(Via Art Beat, Stephanie Kaye, NPR)
Sometimes, O Capitol, we spend time apart
I’m smothered by New York for a day, or three
Only back New York Ave, ease reenters the heart.
Monday, dreadful day, I’m thanking god I see
The X2–or is it, yes!–X1 appear without delay
Kids chatter, riders nod, or act grandmotherly
O Capital, O District would you mind it if I stay?
I can’t promise You forever, but I love You so today.
First photo courtesy of my housemate Sam Rosen-Amy. The photo was shot at the cherry blossom festival using a pin-hole camera.