Transplant

City lights blink like fireflies, regardless of season. High rise windows shine where brick meets sky in a busy horizon.

Ten thousand steps a day are easy here. Church, mosque, supermarket. Post office, synagogue and hardware store. Restaurants serve Italian, Chinese, Ethiopian, French, Japanese, Greek, seafood, pizza, tapas, ribs. Department stores, yarn shop, coffee shops, and burger joints. Museum of Fine Arts and African American Meeting House. Beauty and nail salons, barbershop, shoe repairs, dentists, doctors, optometrist and palm reader too. Freedom trail and river stroll. Β I am carless in the city. Well-worn walking shoes upon my feet andΒ a cornucopia of things to do.

Iowa girl
fifteen acres
first-picked tomato
dripping down my chin.
Transplanted to cityscape.
I still carry heartland habits,
greeting surprised strangers
as they pass me by on city streets.

Written for dVerse, the virtual poet’s pub, where Bjorn is hosting Haibun Monday and suggesting a modern take on this form — put it into a city poem and the haiku that follows the prose may or may not be about nature; may or may not follow haiku form. Pub opens at 3 PM…come visit other’s views of city life! Photos taken from our 7th floor deck in our highrise in Boston.

54 thoughts on “Transplant

  1. lynn__ October 17, 2016 / 11:37 am

    I LOVE this, Lillian, especially the juicy tomato and surprise greeting! I grew up in big city of Denver and transplanted to Iowa farm so I relate…in reverse πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 17, 2016 / 11:56 am

      ….and I really do miss that first picked tomato! But I do love living in Boston. Thankful to have had both experience. Fun to see our serendipity!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Victoria C. Slotto October 17, 2016 / 2:26 pm

    What a huge adjustment, Lillian. I, too, love to greet strangers on the street. Your city views are stunning…but I do love rural living.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:38 am

      Thanks, Victoria. Having my second morning cup — and shall be off to read everyone’s haibuns in a few. We do love being carless in the city — very healthy for us older folks to insure we get out walking! And yes, I also LOVED living in Iowa and raising our family there.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:39 am

      Exactly! So glad I’ve been able to have both worlds in my lifetime.

      Like

  3. sarahsouthwest October 17, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    Love this, love that you still greet strangers, love the excitement of your city. Sometimes I think I would like to live in a city again, I plan to retire to one…:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:39 am

      It’s a healthy lifestyle for us as we walk everywhere! πŸ™‚

      Like

    • lillian October 17, 2016 / 3:46 pm

      Hmmm….not sure what you mean here? Did I type “penguins” somewhere? Please do tell me…

      Liked by 1 person

      • lillian October 17, 2016 / 4:13 pm

        Oh…sooo relieved… thought some little tuxedoed guys had wondered into my words πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜³πŸ˜‰. Not to worry 😊

        Like

  4. sarahsouthwest October 17, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    Sorry, that was the haibun before yours! How careless of me. I came back to leave a second message, and put it in the wrong place. There are no penguins here. Embarrassed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sarahsouthwest October 17, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    It was in Grace’s poem. I have a habit of leaving a load of tabs open. I just got a bit random.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. katiemiafrederick October 17, 2016 / 4:07 pm

    sMiLes.. surely extroverts do better in
    cities overall.. open minded folks who
    are not afraid of strange..
    and places
    like Boston
    wHeRe educated
    is no invisible way
    in lifting veils of ignorance
    in original Greek
    Definition
    oF noW..
    Apocalypse
    iSREaL noW..,,
    i like a taste
    of city to thrill my
    senses free.. but a home
    of Country and Forest to go
    back to home
    of God
    aS Basic
    Nature Breeze..
    ah.. best of boTh
    Worlds loVinG LiBeral
    and Conservative too now..
    hmm.. so hard to find folks
    who go both ways liKe this..
    iN Red State Cities and Country
    Roads
    Plenty..
    otHer than
    that Hi Lillian..
    Hope you are doing
    fancy free in the city..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kim881 October 17, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    I love this Lillian! I too have been transplanted – only the other way round! The opening sentences of the prose section create a bright atmosphere and the second paragraph conveys the busy vibrancy of the city. The poem is just lovely with its dripping tomato and ‘heartland habits’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:42 am

      People ask me what I miss about Iowa and I always say, that first picked tomato and the first ear of sweet corn with butter dripping off it! πŸ™‚ And yes…..midwest is called the heartland….days of unlocked doors and kids climbing trees. I taught in a high school that had 32 kids in its graduating class! πŸ™‚ Loved every minute of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sanaa Rizvi October 17, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    Oh I love this! ❀️ You describe so well the vivacity of urban life. Especially love ” I am carless in the city. Well-worn walking shoes upon my feet and a cornucopia of things to do.” Sigh.. beautifully rendered ❀️

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    Like

  9. Grace October 17, 2016 / 5:38 pm

    Nice to carry over those habits to the city and surprised the strangers with your friendly smiles and courtous hands ~ Love the wide variety of food and sightst to see in the big city ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:44 am

      So much within walking distance….and then when you add a 5 minute walk to the subway and/or to the commuter rail (and that station also has the Down Easter’ Amtrak — it really is quite amazing. But — I did love our 15 acres, apple trees, and wonderful garden in Iowa too!

      Like

  10. Arcadia Maria October 17, 2016 / 8:08 pm

    I like this take on the prompt and the structure. Very well written and descriptive.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Glenn Buttkus October 17, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    “There are no penguins here”, but a plethora of other profound imagery skillful word smithing. I love the sweet liberties you took with Ms. Haiku. I was satisfied with just creating a senryu.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:45 am

      Ah Glenn, you always make me smile. Well, Bjorn said we could go “modern” on the haiku or even use a short poem. Glad you enjoyed! I’m angling over to do my reading in a few minutes here — enjoying my second cup on this grey morning i Boston.

      Like

  12. ZQ October 17, 2016 / 10:39 pm

    hahaha you are such a showoff πŸ™‚ ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

      • ZQ October 18, 2016 / 11:01 am

        yes, saying it amicably πŸ™‚

        Like

  13. Bodhirose October 17, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    You’re so right about getting all your steps in in the city, Lillian. Boston is a great walking city. We wrote about the same city although my poem was grittier than yours. Lovely view you have there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:48 am

      Well — if truth be told, our deck looks straight out to another building across the street — but looking to the left or right, you see more…so we always face our chairs that way! πŸ™‚ Most folks here have closed in their decks to add extra room inside — coming from Iowa, no way we would do that. Have to have that outdoors πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala) October 18, 2016 / 12:00 am

    So much contrast from serene farmland to big city crazy happenings. Having the good sense to retain the rural goodness in the light of city diversions means lots of untold provocations to contend with.Beautiful write lillian!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:48 am

      Glad you enjoyed, Hank. Many thanks!

      Like

  15. Mish October 18, 2016 / 12:14 am

    Love that you still carry your “heartland habits”, Lillian. The prose is wonderful but that “first picked tomato dripping down” your chin is such a beautiful symbolism of your roots and a lovely contrast to your city adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:49 am

      …and I truly do miss it. Even the tomatoes we buy at the summer farmers’ markets in the city don’t compare to picking one from the garden, taking it inside and washing it and immediately biting in like an apple! πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed.

      Like

  16. rosemawrites October 18, 2016 / 12:50 am

    the transition was beautifully described! and the vivid descriptions are a delight, Lill! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Brian October 18, 2016 / 7:48 am

    Boston is a brusque town, but has a big heart inside. I like how you contrast Iowa with the city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:51 am

      We do enjoy Boston. Some call it a “small big city” — and I would agree with that. So glad we’ve had the opportunity to live big chunks of our lives in both! πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Brian October 18, 2016 / 11:19 am

        I grew up in and around Madison, Wisconsin and although I loved the rural farms, I wanted to be in urban areas.

        Like

  18. Laura Bloomsbury October 18, 2016 / 7:56 am

    the greeting strangers made me smile – the ingenue in the city – not over-awed but overflowing

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:52 am

      Sometimes people are a bit shocked when I say “good afternoon.” By the way, a very common thing to do in Bermuda — and specifically to whatever time of day it is. When folks get on the bus there, they look at everyone and say “good morning.” It’s kind of like handing out smiles πŸ™‚

      Like

  19. georgeplace2013 October 18, 2016 / 8:03 am

    I am a small town girl and I guess I always will be. I think I would be terrified in a big city though you have made it seem less scary

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 18, 2016 / 8:53 am

      Well, here’s the thing. When you move to a big city to live there, you’re really only in a “chunk” of the big city — that helps make it more comfortable πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Bryan Ens October 18, 2016 / 8:43 am

    Oh yes…so many different things, those shoes will certainly be well worn!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. whippetwisdom October 18, 2016 / 11:16 am

    I love your ‘heartland habits’ carried into the city, so much nicer than having it the other way around :o)

    Like

  22. mother wintermoon October 19, 2016 / 12:27 am

    Love, love, love! ❀️ A wonderful juxtaposition and point of view. The tomato line is splendid and really brings it home. Great photos too! πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 19, 2016 / 8:50 am

      So glad you enjoyed. I do miss those Iowa tomatoes right out of our garden!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mother wintermoon October 19, 2016 / 3:05 pm

        Delicious! Did you make tomato sandwiches…just sliced tomatoes, bread and mayo? I used to, (want one right now!) but not sure if that’s just an oddball thing.

        Liked by 1 person

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