Troost Avenue

by Larry Welling

I was born on Troost
      Well, not exactly true
      In a hospital now torn down
      Like many other things of my youth
      Gone forever now, they never will return

Conceived on Troost
      That’s more accurate
      Upstairs in a nice clean room
      My parents lived there newly wed
      Above a paint store, now long forgotten

My life began on Troost
      That says it better still
      Lived there too, till I was two
      Then moved away, but not that far
      I think the street had got into my blood

So I went back to Troost
      Fairly often, as I recall
      My father had his office there
      Where a filling station now stands
      And even that now seems to be unused

A streetcar ran on Troost
      Turned around at 55th
      A shopping center in its day
      Convenient to riders going home
      Returning from all their jobs downtown

But then things changed
      In a not so subtle way
      The line moved on to Meyer
      And most shops at 55th just died
      As later would the streetcar line as well

Poor Troost, it would become a boundary line
      Separate the richer from the poor
      Divide the blacks and whites
      A community had died
      Will Troost die too
      Or be reborn

Categories: Poetry