© 2018 THE LONG ISLAND LITERARY JOURNAL

A Manhattan Morning Walk 

 by AnnRea Fowler

 

The temptation of a McGriddle gets me up early
to walk to class. I walk past people begging
and know that if I were to give them
my last two dollars, I would be right there 
beside them. Maybe that would bring a blessing
from giving my all to the city.
 
I’m up before the trash men have come 
‘round. The city is quiet and with that silence 
is a mixture of rotten produce and the rancid
liquid all garbage produces.
The smell alone should be enough
to keep tourists out, yet they keep flocking in. 
 
The ground underneath my feet rumbles
and I am so glad I’m not on the subway,
which is always filled to the brim
with New Yorkers who can’t afford to take taxis
every day and are dressed too nicely to walk
in this Summer sauna city.

The construction men have gathered,
but are sitting around.
I never see them do work,
yet somehow the buildings grow taller.
 
Walking at this time of day is peaceful
and reminds me of home.
Sometimes I close my eyes
and picture the fields of cotton
and the hills adorned with grass
and the curves of a familiar back road
and turn my nose up at the stench of manure.
I can finally see the colors of sunset
again as it is not obstructed
by a line of skyscrapers.

As much as I hate the herds
of people rushing and pushing
and the taxis honking like geese,
Manhattan has a way of making
me yearn for it when I’ve returned
to Virginia’s bovine pastures
and I can’t wait to get back
to that Mulberry Street cannoli.
 

 

 

 

AnnRea is a Senior at Virginia Tech studying Creative Writing and Professional and Technical Writing.

She has taken book publishing classes at NYU and plans to return to the city after her undergraduate studies. A fun fact about AnnRea is that she has a dog named Butterbean. She has not previously been published but was an honorable mention for the

Steger Poetry Prize at Virginia Tech in April 2018.