My Natural History

12 Jul

I look out at Jackson Park.

Where elms and oaks, locusts and maples 

now stand arching over grassy spaces,

guarding beds of daffodils and pansies and petunias,

coleus and daisies.

This was water not so long ago.

When Lincoln’s funeral train traveled on the tracks

a few yards to the west, 

—on its way to Chicago, where he lay in state—

it traversed a bridge over the water.

We have photographs to prove it.

Landfill, we call it.

I’m looking through the window 

of a grand hotel, built in the 1890s

to greet the hordes that came to a World’s Fair.

The Fair was reason enough 

To transport soil from Lake Michigan’s bottom

to form the park 

and erect the buildings where I live today

and house the cafe where I sit now to reflect,

with the dogs and squirrels and grasshoppers,

who play beneath the trees.

My park, my companions,

my natural history.

(c) Phil Hefner      11 July 2018 

2 Responses to “My Natural History”

  1. sandyjwhite July 12, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

    I can picture it, Phil. A very pleasant place to pass some time.

    • Liftthescreen July 12, 2018 at 8:09 pm #

      Yes—it’s not Colorado mountains, but very pleasant indeed.

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