Â Â Â Â by Bob Trezise
It stormed all night,
Several nights before Christmas,
The silent snows of Michigan,
Crouching past my windows and doors,
Resting on windowsills like fluffy white cats.
In the early morning, I shoo them away
With a broom and a mitten
And make my way to downtown Lansing
Where the dark buildings rise
Into the inky black sky
And the traffic lights blink to life-
Reds, greens and yellows.
In the little wind left at the feet of the towers,
The green wreaths keep beat against the black hips
Of the historic street light posts.
I park my car behind the Arbaugh building.
The car settles into a snow bank.
Red door squeezes shut.
My black socks cool and dampen in my shoes.
I stand still, the only soul in the city.
From the empty cement benches of the CATA bus shelter
The sound of a mournful, brass horn
Slowly, perfectly pitched
Blows the notes to O Little Town of Bethlehem
As if from a scene in an old black and white film.
It might as well be midnight.
Perhaps Iâ€™m even still dreaming.
Maybe there are ladies in their hats
Shopping the windows at the Arbaugh,
Or children lining up at Knapps to sit on Santaâ€™s lap
Or a concierge in a brown-vested suit welcoming Governor Fitzgerald
To lunch in the Hotel Olds
Or a World War I veteran checking his U.S. Bonds
In his savings deposit box
At the Michigan National Bank tower.
A star breaks through the clouds above the Ottawa Power Station.
I walk into my office,
Click on the white lights,
Snap on the blue hue of my computer.
And, looking out onto Washington Square, an elbow on my desk,
I go to work for the city in the display window of the Arbaugh.
A Cityâ€™s Ghost by Bob Trezise. Trezise is the CEO of the Lansing Economic Development Corporation and a lifeÂlong poet. His office is in the old Arbaugh Department Store on Washington Avenue in downtown Lansing