These are the names of all of my days.
I sit on the tree trunk in front of the vacant store on 43rd,
The elevated terrible and angry, squeals to a stop.
Standing near the fence for a century or more under the mist of rainbows,
I watch the workers in the distant fog harvesting crosses.
Every tone of skin a variance of depression gray,
Every knitted muscle more convoluted than its companion piece,
All of the ragweed eating into the lining of my nose
The very seed that feeds the song I like most.
Field workers assemble the wood,
Framing one piece to another,
Whitewashed and hammered shut.
Fog thickens and thins, turns and rises.
Every distant shape, every piece of driftwood.
Michael H. Brownstein
Michael H. Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators, designs websites and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.