Reflections on Boston (Yet Another Revision)

Boston: graceful, bawdy, high-brow,
creative, impetuous, thoughtful, raucous,
and always liberatingly liberal.
Forever spinning connective threads
between the extremes strung
across the past, present, and future.

Yet there’s something more.
Beyond our words.
Ever presently illusive,
like the single milli-moment separating day and night.
Out of reach, yet not out of touch.
Embodied in all you find there,
like some archetypal signature
written on the bottom of everything.

More than its uncommon Commons
and its so very public Public Gardens.
More than its stately Charles River,
snaking through and uniting the city’s many parts,
attracting throngs of people and sailboats
seeking flow and change in their lives.

Notable history, for sure, but more.
Almost too many stories told from scripted lips.
Lips prone to remind us of what was,
when all long we want to know what is
and what will be.

Ornate, inspiring, yet mysterious architecture
rising like passionate delphiniums and orchids
into the endless blue June sky.
Some also reminding us of weathered gravestones,
jutting up from old cemeteries
littered with skeletons
still hanging in Boston’s closet.

More than the Red Sox’ Fenway Park
and the onerous Green Monster, denying
even the best hitters their coveted four-baggers.
More than its historic Tea Party, and
the rebellious old white guys powdering their wigs
for the taxing event.

Even more than Harvard, MIT, Wellesley,
Brandeis, Tufts, and Boston College,
where young minds bend and stretch
in endowed dark classrooms, and all the while
alumni associations claim more victims.

Beyond the 600,000 people
living within the city’s limits, and
the four million plus living
in the larger surrounding region.
Even beyond the millions
visiting each year to smarten up, eat fresh lobster,
hear the Pops, or brush up on American history.

All point to, but alone fail to capture,
that illusive spirit, blowing
like a constant untamed wind through the city,
breathing life into Boston
and all whom it touches.

So what would Medieval England’s St. Botolph,
whose name is carried on by Boston,
say about how to know this great city’s essence?
Likely he would say the same of Boston
as he did of the Lord Almighty:
Let your heart fill with Boston, and then,
and only then, you will know her.
And I would say that
the Curse of the Bambino has ended,
and it’s time for new beginnings.