"an avenue for thought"

By Abrahim Harb

[part one]
An avenue for thought
A wide alleyway
A two way street—with four lanes
An empty sidewalk
unexpectedly turns into...

An avenue for thought that is instantly congested
Strewn broken branches carried off personal property pack the alleyways
and a storm related accident results in a traffic jam
Leading to a filled sidewalk, as those on buses or taxi’s overflow on to the sidewalk—

The avenue for thought diminishes

I’m mugged in the alley
and chase the muggers onto the overloaded sidewalks,
dropping my notebook on the rain soaked Chicago streets.

A congested avenue for thought becomes a street I must learn to walk on...
to zig and zag, to strategically maneuver around, to avoid being trampled or shoved

Garbage day comes—broken branches are removed
only for other objects to litter the once wide alleyway

The avenue for thought diminishes,
though it never entirely disappears—the threat level never decreases.

 *               *               *               *               *               *

[part two]
A congested avenue—
A street I must be able to maneuver
A labyrinth filled with many walls.

I backtrack
and find my notebook—
wring out the water and attempt to salvage what I can

The avenue for thought
will not silence me—even temporarily.
A congested avenue for thought
will not force me to conform.
A congested avenue for thought
will not cease my voice—in fact, it will echo

I find all the treasures
narrowing the alleyway—
and find use for them.

A congested avenue for thought
will not stop me from trudging forward though the storm
to make my appointment with success

The avenue for thought diminishes,
though it never entirely disappears—the threat level never decreases.

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