Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.

Hometown To-Do List 
by Moya Seneb

Let’s go sledding down Superman Hill. 
I wanna feel my ears pop 
 like bottle rockets in my head. 
Watch life flash before our eyes 
with me until we reach the bottom. 
Take a breath under the waterfall. 
See how long it takes for the  
corn snakes to show up. 
Drive up George Mason to 
watch the cops stake out  
people living their lives in the fast lane. 
Get the corner booth at Bob and Edith’s 
to see how her hair turns red and blue. 
Not one after the other, 
but at the same time. 
Climb to the top of the rope pyramid  
and jump off the swing midair. 
It’ll feel like no one’s ever breathed  
that air before. 
If that’s not high enough for you, 
I know a couple roof tops  
where we can watch the city fall apart. 
By tomorrow someone will have  
spray-painted over the cracked-up bits  
with something kind of beautiful. 
Under every bridge is a world most  
people don’t take the trouble to see, 
that’s why we set up camp there. 
Everyone needs a place to skip rocks,  
pick locks and escape the rain. 
You should always take the  
short cut through the dog park. 
Walk across the stream. 
Keep walking till you get home. 
Yeah, it’s still home when you come back. 
So, take me to Gravelly Point,  
I wanna hear the planes take off. 
I love this town, I always will, 
but I need to know what it’ll sound like  
when I leave.

Moya Seneb performed on the Kennedy Center Stage for the 2019 Louder Than a Bomb competition. She graduated from Wakefield High School in 2019 and then studied abroad in Italy for a year. “Hometown To-Do List” was written three months into that trip.

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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