(inspired by Goodnight, Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown.)
The sun is high
The air is still
And everything that will be,
Cars racing on the GSP
and the lady conductor asking, “tickets, please.”
Summer, trees, hydrangeas
Cool ocean breeze and jughandles
Every town in descending order,
and memories calling
from every corner
Goodbye all the Wawa stores
Rt 35 & 36
Radio stations’ eclectic mix
Beginning in Red Bank, on the Navesink River
and traipsing around the state together,
Gingerbread houses in Ocean Grove
Twin Lights beaming from above,
Like an old, cherished love,
“You have not changed!”
Yet, the train moves forward, still.
Goodbye horses, farms, and cows
Goodbye ocean breeze, and salty air
and Jersey Girls everywhere.
Copyright 2012 Lupe Eyde-Tucker. All rights reserved.
I did not write ‘Goodbye, Jersey’ during NaPoWriMo 2013. I wrote it last summer after visiting New Jersey, specifically MoCo, and reconnecting with friends and places where I grew up. It was a great trip, and on the last day, as I was waiting for the train from Red Bank to take my mother and I to Newark Airport, all of the sudden the first lines of this poem just popped into my head, and I started writing it, literally on the train schedule. As we took our seats, verses and phrases kept coming to me, and I pulled out my notebook and started just writing it all out. It was a spontaneous poetic moment which I am still awed by. A couple of months later the entire state was slammed by Superstorm Sandy, and Monmouth County was devastated. I originally posted this poem on my blog, http://www.thenewjerseygirl.com.