Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A January Encounter with St. Louis
By Don Iannone

Beloved river city,
nestled on the west bank
of the mighty Mississippi,
that magically snakes through you,
and connects you to other river cities.
Your roots grow deeper by the day,
while your future arches its back
like an awakening calico,
warming herself in the afternoon sun.
You've seen many dark nights,
when the moon fails to glow,
yet starlight continues to grace your soul.
Lazy snowflakes flirt with the biting westward wind...
a wind you know so well
on this late January afternoon.
You toy with me in word and image,
daring me to grasp you about the waist
and dance on tiptoes with you
into the westward-leaning sun.
South of you at Cairo,
the industrious Ohio joins your Mississippi.
At your right elbow, ancient Cahokia's 20,000 souls
have restlessly slept now for more than 600 years.
Farther south, midway to Memphis,
nobody wants to talk about New Madrid,
where the earth shakes off excess energy
on a regular basis, and where in 1811
the Mississippi reversed her flow...
a feat not since accomplished,
nor even wished.
You are a city of poets and writers,
entrepreneurs, athletes, actors and scientists.
A city prone to division at times,
but once again learning to come together
about what means most in life.
You are a city mattering to so many,
even those begrudging the redbird his special feast
on tiger last October 27th.
My simple wish for you, Oh St. Louis,
is happiness sparing none,
and may you, in your unfolding urbane glory,
never cease to amaze.


gautami tripathy said...

ah...Very good, don!

lalitha said...

WOW! Don that was very touching and beautiful.

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Gautami and Lalitha.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

This is great!I've always loved St. Louis. Been there many many times. (there's also generations of Cardnel fans here, too. :) )
My wife goes over south of Memphis each week. A little different.

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Andrew. It is a saintly city on the river. Take care. Go Cards.

Pat Paulk said...

WOW!! Great Ode to St. Louis!! Should submit it to the a publication there.

floots said...

that's one big river
love those flirtatious snowflakes too
good write
puts me in mind of sandburg
well done

Dan said...


Kathleen said...

Beautiful Don..! Rivers are so alive... what a lovely tribute...

Hope you are well!

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Kathleen, Dan, Floots, and Pat. This was a fun one. I read the poem as part of a speech I gave in St. Louis yesterday. It was very well received.

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