Latest in a series of posts on the Arts in Bethlehem
Some may see the Westgate Mall as a dying shell of itself, but for me it contains memories of family, friends, innocence, and discovery. The poem asks you to look deeper than the surface and think about the real meaning and measure of the location and its people. It is a poem not just of discovery but of re-discovery of something familiar but changing.
The Westgate Mall
Been hanging out at the Westgate Mall
with the ghosts of my childhood
for the last two hours
Passed up 15 Facebook status post moments.
That thought is postable.
That image is postable.
Didn’t want to inundate the world with
any more of my life.
The Westgate Mall really isn’t part of this world anyway
just some bizarre weigh station in between here
and the next embodied go-around
An island of groceries, skateboards, elderly track stars
and benches. Lots of benches.
Or perhaps this Mall is as real as any place in this universe
alive and kicking with its bus stop and
brazen beating hearts yearning to hold onto to the marrow
of Bethlehem, Pa.
I think I’ll stay a little longer and find out.
Matt Wolf has written and performed poetry for the last 22 years in the Lehigh Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. He has organized over 40 local poetry readings and multi-media events over the last 8 years in the Lehigh Valley area. He has taught many poetry workshops in Lehigh Valley schools. He is also a Mindfulness Instructor and is a member of the Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission. Poems previously appeared in Lehigh Valley Vanguard and Lovers and Fighters: Poetry for Social Change. His book A Journey is published by BAPL Books, 2018. See the article “Giving Back” on Matt (with great picture) in the March 20, 2019, issue of Fig.