______Our lives happen between the memorable. Jack Gilbert
New York City, long ago.
My faded tee-shirt, worn for morning runs in Central Park
proclaimed I got mine on West 69.
Every morning breakfast in Patmos Coffee Shop
on the corner, sat at the counter,
said Kalimera to the burly owner,
who knew my order: white, white coffee and
an extra butter slab with my corn muffin.
Next door, a hardware store, small, old-timey,
each nook stuffed with nails, screws, hooks
in every size, where Moishe gave me tips
on choosing the right curtain rods,
steps to make my toilet stop running,
strong opinions on my latest romance.
When I moved to Los Angeles, I kept looking for
my hardware store, could only find huge chains,
cavernous, barn-like places, no one to hang out
with me, to talk about nuts and bolts and my love life,
nor any place that served me home
with buttered cornbread and a Greek accent.