Tulips and Addresses

by

05/31/2006

11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Neighborhood: Midtown

The Museum of Modern Art on West Fifty-third Street
Is interested only in the flower not the bulb.
After the Dutch tulips finished blooming in the garden last year,
They pulled them up and threw them away–that place has no heart.
Some fortunately were rescued and came into my possession.

I kept them all winter in a paper bag from the A.&.P.–
At first where I was living then, on the West Side,
Until the next-door tribe of Murphys drove me out with rock’n’ roll,
Then at Thompson Street in the Village, where, overhead,
A girl and her lover tromped around all night on each other.

And that wasn’t the end of it. I shlepped those bulbs around
For two months from place to place, looking for a home,
All winter, moving, oy–although this was nothing new to me,
Coming as I do from a wandering race,
And life with its twelve plagues making me even more Jewish.

Now I am living on Abingdon Square–not the Ritz exactly, but a place,
And I have planted the tulips in my windowbox.
Please God make them come up, so that everyone who passes by
Will know I am there, at least long enough to catch my breath,
When they see the bright, red, beautiful flowers in my window.

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