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View of Camden, New Jersey, 2015 -Promote yourself


View of Camden, New Jersey, 2015


From an aerial view,

the city appears blighted,

gray smoke from the Ben Franklin Bridge south.

Even Philly, north, fares better…

those sharp-witted lights of brilliant history.


Boarded row home. Poppy packs powder in zip-locs,

loads them into his son’s backpack, sends him off

to middle school. Says don’t come home without the money.

Daughter struggles with homework. Poppy says

don’t bother. In a few years she’ll be in middle school.

Red brick school building. Demolition red.

Teacher rings a bell in a classroom.

Time for silent independent reading

She gestures students back to their desks.


Teacher as example, pulls out her Sue Grafton

mystery. Yolanda swears in Spanish. Home language,

so teacher lets it go. And reads on….


Kinsey Milhone, lady detective, draws her gun

and foils the robber’s break-in…


Quason grunts, pulls out his high interest low level

book. Snorts from the rest, but they follow.


…Kinsey drives her Volkswagon in California

Wind sprays the ocean. Colors are warm golden-hues…


Someone passes gas. Laughter shatters. Fingers

pinch noses.Teacher rolls her eyes, keeps reading.

Hasan points out the flies over Joey’s ripe book bag.

Teacher wishes to be Kinsey.


For twenty minutes, sixteen troubled students

pretend to read, sleep, swat flies. One teacher gets lost

in a world where a lady detective solves all the problems.


In a dream I saw a city invincible.”

                                                                                    -Walt Whitman

                                                                          inscribed on the walls                                                      ofCamden  City Hall where

                                                                            the great poet spent his last                                                          years

in this city)

Leigh Mackelvey

About poetreecreations

I am an author writer publisher web administrator I run poetry workshops in the community. My published Manners childrens poetry book can be found at

6 responses

  1. so kool thank you for your words…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks souch for reading my poem! I taught in the public school system I’m Camden for 14 years. Just retired this past June. I loved my students.


  3. And to think Camden was the home town of wrestling champion Buddy “Nature Boy” Rodgers! But it does have the Battleship U.S.S. New Jersey, which is well worth visiting.


  4. Thanks for sharing this I used to live in Camden for a short stint

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting. I taught in Camden for 13 years and just retired this past June. I taught at Lanning Square and my last two years at Veterans Memorial.


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