Tuesday, October 29, 2013

beechview, pittsburgh, july 31, 1950

the pittsburgh press said the house
where the reds lived
got stoned with bricks & vegetables
     broken glass for the reds

     the american reds
          a father mother two toddlers

the sergeant had been home
for a few years now
from the 'great war'
     handsome thick black wavy hair
     uncompromisingly young-looking
     as a refrigeration & washing machine mechanic
     developing his forearms into steel
     built for wrenches
built from the dark cio steelworker thirties
     & the anti-fascist trenches of the spanish civil war
built to withstand the sneers
     & silence & shouts
     of the company men
          their political henchmen
          & the racists who kept black kids
          out of the city swimming pools
built to withstand a certain
     matt cvetic
     the finger behind the assault
     on the red's house
          our house

moving on
became unplanned but not a retreat
     the journey far beyond shadycrest drive
     embodied the warmth
     of many outstretched hardened forearms
          clear eyes
          unbending postures
               shoes shared
                    walking straight ahead...not running

--- e b bortz

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