Weekly Poem: ‘Pittsburgh’

BY Arts Desk  February 2, 2009 at 11:53 AM EST

Pittsburgh SteelersIn honor of the Steelers’ Super Bowl victory, we’ve gone into the Poetry Series archive:

Pittsburgh
by Terrance Hayes

Pittsburgh is a fat lady jabbering at the bus stop.
She mistakes me for someone who gives a damn,
For a native son of her gray industrial breast.
She blesses her Bucs, her Steelers,
Her father, God rest his soul, was a Hornets fan.
She mistakes me for someone who gives a damn,
Her blue scarf twisting like the broad Monongahela,
Her blue face lined like a jitney’s street map.
I’d tell her I’m not from this place:
These severed tired neighborhoods,
These ruthless winter tantrums,
But her long winded stories numb me.
She is persistent as snow, as boot slush & Thinsulate,
As buses rumbling like giant metallic catepillars.
She lights a Marlboro and it means
Spring will burn quick and furious as a match,
Summer will blaze.
When she tells me No one is a stranger in Pittsburgh,
do I believe her,
My frosty fairy foster-Mamma,
My stout rambling metaphor?