A Brooklyn Building.
The old brownstone has stood
For over a century.
Today is its end.
Broken windows stare blindly
As preparations for its demise begin.
This building has the memories of Jewish and Irish
Who come overwhelmed from Ellis Island
Their languages and smells of ethnic cooking
Tobacco and the smells of food
Stay suspended in the unventilated corridoors.
Noisy, no hot water or electric light
The single dirty toilet in the corridor
But away from the pogroms and sheer terror
It was still a place to call your own, and put a song in your heart.
Outside, the cobbled streets and vegetable carts,
With the cry of the vendors and the countless children
Playing games that have been forgotten
A simple time - a time which has been forgotten.
It will be turned into a glass and steel fishtank,
For overweight keep fitters.
I wish that it could stay,
As it belongs where it is.