Left my home and my cat
And my neighborhood --
The quiet and tranquil West Village --
That sheltered me from the viral storm
These past few months
And headed off to see
The buildings that I own in Brooklyn.
Was that the reason why I went?
It’s hard to say.
My property manager could have gone alone,
As she has done before,
And, sure, I told myself,
I have a piece of paper in my bag that says that I’m a landlord
And allows me to provide essential services to my tenants
Just in case someone stops and asks me
Why in the world I am going to Brooklyn.
But the real reason why I put on that ugly mask and those blue rubber gloves
And ran down the steps of the West 4th Street subway station before switching to a taxi
When I found out that the F train was running on the D track (no surprise there)
Was because I wanted to make sure that the city that I loved so much
Was still there, standing tall and proud,
After all the deaths and all the damage that was done.
And then, as my cab mounted the Manhattan bridge,
I saw it, New York City,
Like the Sun bursting from the sky in all its glory --
The Brooklyn Bridge, Lady Liberty, the East River
Where they shoot off the fireworks on the Fourth of July —
Just the way it was before.
And then, in Brooklyn, I saw the joggers and the riders
And the couples hand in hand walking their dogs
And the people squeezing in the door of the bagel shop
Down the street from the block where my buildings were still standing
And the FedEx trucks and the delivery guys and the bike messengers
Filling the streets just like they had before.
And suddenly my heart leapt like a happy dolphin
And I knew in an instant that the apocalypse was over
And that the city that I love so much,
The city that even in its darkest hour is the envy of all the world,
The city of strivers, of dreamers, of survivors,
My city -- New York City -- was still alive
And always would be.
May 7, 2020