Collaboration: Day 72

At Home in the I.E.

An early ’70s swim, the chlorine and smog
mix in the petri dish of my lungs

In the moonless night off Watkins Drive,
a lone coyote tentatively yips

A road to donkeys, through a mountain
into a canyon, Reche Canyon!

Turn the left corner at Piccadilly Circus,
and there, the pub is waiting with my lunch

The chaparral that was once widespread
is still there in the nooks and crannies

In the late 1950s, living in abandoned
homes near the Mira Loma Air Force Supply Depot
on Etiwanda Ave next to
the Italian vineyards now forever gone

Steelworker here to represent!
Worked in Fontana most of my life

Riverside is not Detroit, wasn’t
in 1974, isn’t now can hide its small town
feel but it always emerges somehow

Joan Didion lied for the guys and blamed
the Santa Anas as to why Lucille Miller
killed her cheating husband in San Bernardino;
apparently Didion doesn’t understand betrayal

In the 1980s, Dad bought a bar
The Big O on Holt and Grove in Ontario

Breathing Taco Tuesday smog
in the drive through at Baker’s

Hiking the Sycamore Canyon hills
in search of superbloom poppies

Agua Mansa Cemetery, in its beautiful
decay, reminds me of what once
was, and the intruder I remain

Sweet smell of orange blossoms —
don’t replace it with a housing development.

The fruit stand and groves
on Ontario replaced with overpriced homes

The citrus groves near UC Riverside
remind us of the importance of the citrus
industry in Riverside’s economy

Meyer lemon trees blossoming near
the white noise of crawling highways

A little patch of bliss, fragrant
flowers and the sunshine of home

During the summers under the spreading shady elms,
we love to dance at Fairmount park

I can’t imagine living
anywhere without purple trees

Alexander Akin, Steve Perry, Debby Johnson, Juanita E. Mantz Pelaez, Rob McMurray, Burcu Misirli Chatham, Kamelyta Noor, Frances T. Borella, Sharon Sekhon, Cindy Bousquet Harris, Kris Lovekin, Raine Lefaivre-Naggi, Andrea Jill Fingerson, Natalie Champion, Barbara Berg, Rose Y. Monge, Cindi Neisinger, Gudelia Vaden, Robin Longfield

Original prompt: Write one line of poetry that evokes “place” to write about the I.E.