Broadside #44 (Fall 2016 / 16.10)

Broadside #44 (Fall 2016 / 16.10)

Melissa McEwen


It’s not always a downer or dangerous to live
      here like they show you on the news. What they

don’t show you, can’t show you is the feel good
      feeling I get when I no longer need to turn on

the heat and the windows are open and the box
      fan is going and I can smell charcoal and lighter

fluid in the air though it’s not really there or it
      could be there and someone somewhere in

this part of the city is about to blast Everybody
      Loves the Sunshine from a car and neighbors

sing along or hum along and neighbors feel more
      like cousins, and ordinary days feel more like parties

and there is no beef in sight, not even on Martin
      Street. And in these moments, the neighborhood

boys seem so far from death, seem so
      much more than statistics and stereotypes

suggest. Not that they’re angels with shiny gold
      halos, but in the right light they look like they just might be

with their wide, glowing gold, smiles.



Author’s commentary: I wrote the poem Angels after watching the news and thinking about how so much violence goes on in Hartford, especially the north end (where my poem takes place), but when I’m there visiting relatives or friends, nothing ever happens. Martin Street is one of the streets I constantly hear mentioned on the news. Carjackings, shootings, fighting, gang and drug activity, –sometimes even in the daytime– are some of the crimes that plague this area, but on some days you would think you were somewhere else, somewhere nice because everybody on the block would be getting along and all the kids would be surrounding the ice cream truck or playing on the basketball court, someone would be playing music loud from a car, and it’s like an instant block party. And though we know it will all change tomorrow, that one of these boys might end up dead tomorrow, in that moment that thought is so far away. In that moment everyone seems perfect and innocent like angels.

Melissa McEwen is a poet from Hartford, Connecticut and her poems have been published in various literary journals, anthologies, and magazines such as Rattle, MiPOesias, and Black Magnolias.

Comment on Broadside #43, November 2016.


About bluefifthreview

Blue Fifth Review, edited by Sam Rasnake, Michelle Elvy, and Bill Yarrow, is an online journal of poetry, flash, and art.
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1 Response to Broadside #44 (Fall 2016 / 16.10)

  1. Pingback: Archives for 2016 | Blue Fifth Review: Blue Five Notebook Series

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