237 Thatford Avenue, Brownsville New York


Papa's hacking cough awakens me

in the darkened shadows of dawn.

Soothing his hacking cough

he sips a glass of tea

sucking noisily on a domino sugar cube.

Shivering in front of a hot iron stove

crackling kindling ignites

mounds of jet black coal

in the gray morning light.


Echoes of the milkman's wagon

reverberate in the empty streets.

Steaming deposits of dung fertilize fields of asphalt.

Frozen cream pushes through

tops of ice cold bottles

waiting on the doorstep

for a mother's eager hand.


Milt Ehrlich