Thursday, November 17, 2016

Brooklyn's "Rooster" poll

Prospect Heights Brooklyn - Cataldo's is behind the van

Brooklyn's "Rooster" poll

It's a world I've little experience,
Vito's and Salvatore's old world Sicily
of simmering sauces, brick oven pizzas -
where classic marinara and meatballs
compete for attention beside Penne Alla Vodka
and stuffed artichokes.

My mother was a traditional American cook:
roast beef, casseroles, Friday night TV dinners,
the dreaded stuffed green & red peppers.
We sisters quarreled over clothes,
but seldom swore, never hit.
Males were few; no brothers.  Cats, dogs,
goats, horses, chickens - mostly female -
alone strutted the noisy, opinionated rooster.

Sitting within Cataldo's warm, red bricked,
closely seated interior, I watch the lunch crowd
amble in:  blue collar men - construction, security guards,
road assistance - is my guess and I'm reminded
of the farmyard cock of my youth.

Chests don't puff and wings don't flap,
but arms and hands do half their talking.
Boisterously joust, punch or slap a back,
compare prowess on video games,
spout political views - Trump's their man...
and I'm taken aback.  The primaries have just begun
and Donald's ...

I look closer.  Calloused hands. Sincere hearts
(I can tell these men are Mama's boys)
and a bravery that underlies words.
I may be projecting stereotypical ideals,
but dedication and honor from men such as these
are often first to march off to protect hearth & home.

As a salty Margarita tingles my tongue,
I smile as the waitress sassily reprimands the crowd
(who apologize swiftly),  and absorb this nostalgic
Italian diner, (feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland)
and ponder if I've glimpsed the future.

by Margaret Bednar, November 17, 2016

linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Open Link Night #184"

I keep harking back to this memory ...  I adore NYC - the diversity of people and languages, the mix of white and blue collar, the food (the FOOD!) the parks built by Frederick Law Olmsted...  I love visiting.  But the first time I visited two years ago... it was a bit of a culture shock - not in a negative way but just a LOT to take in.  Even now, I am happy to stay a week or two and return home to my mountains.  But I'm always soon longing to go back to visit my son and the big city.

The lunch at the Italian restaurant has been ingrained in my mind.  I realize most of these men most likely did not go to college, are hard working men - I overheard some were working two and three jobs - they supported people in need - I heard them talking about a fund raiser for a buddy who had hit hard times...  compassionate, boisterous, loud - and men who love to laugh and swear.  I couldn't help but adore them - and they were voting Trump.  


Anonymous said...

Slice of reality, so well crafted.

Bryan Ens said...

love the impressions in this...both the images of NYC, and the memories of growing up.

Brian said...

I've always worked with men like them. So warm and open and giving, yet closed off to others who don't fit in.

Grace said...

I like how you captured the scents, images and people in the moment ~ I like people watching too but its all superficial ~ Who knows what are their real sentiments until you talk with them ~ Nice to see you at OLN Margaret ~ Hope you are well ~

brudberg said...

I think you're right.. there are those, and there are others voting Trump, le Pen or others. It's not the voters who are wrong... most humans are decent and wants the best for their fellow men... Love the scenery, and it sounds like a place I would enjoy.

Bodhirose said...

I like the contrast between your growing up place and how you compare it to New York City with their own boisterous roosters. I admire how you were able to know more about these men as you listened to them in the diner. You showed us their dedication and hearts.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

I would echo Bodirose's comment.
There is a sense of injustice in those who are not part of the establishment, this corporate world of ours.
They have a need a want to protest and unfortunately those such as Trump provide them with this opportunity. For the most these are decent people with a voice unheard. Sad, but this is how this corporate world of ours is.
Kind regards
Anna :o]

Magaly Guerrero said...

Your poem has made me hungry. I have to walk down the street... to slice of poetry with cheese melting on it.

kaykuala said...

and men who love to laugh and swear.
I couldn't help but adore them - and
they were voting Trump.

Much against the trend initially and to the shock of all DT moved in. Yes, he seemed to have won over the ordinary guys on bread and butter issues.


Debi Swim said...

I like this peek into the lives of the working man. I also appreciate the compassionate tone of your poem.

signed...bkm said...

Nice write. Have only been to NYC once but your piece brought back all its sights, sounds and smells...bkm

Jennifer Wagner said...

I love how you take us along to so many places in your poems. You describe them in ways that make me feel like I'm there, too. Thank you!

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