by    /  February 24, 2021  / Comments Off on Crafton-Ingram

by Lisa Pickett

Running Parallel.

Steuben Street.
Ingram Avenue.

Don’t matter—cause they both lead to the little, lost, lonely bold legged brown skin girl skipping down Maxwell Street. Ingram Ave. Negley Ave. Stotz Ave. Walsh Road.

The whisper of that mysterious mesmerizing Wooden Park calling her name finds her feet planted firmly in its crisp bright green grass gasping for the next calm breeze to brush across her face. Swinging, swaying, swiftly. Pump. Push. Pull. Higher and higher. Adrenaline taking the lead. Leaping. Letting go. Flying through the trauma..the tears. Letting go….Letting go…letting go. Bam. Solid landing on the foundation of familiarity.

Grinning as the little splinters filled with laughter prance on her fingers dancing
to meet the beat of the dirty leather softball soaring high in the sky as it greets
the call of the sun’s mitt catching the exhilaration of the next C.I.T. championship.

She inhales itching for the calm of the Crafton pool to wash away those childhood insecurities. Splish. Splash. Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars. Wet swimsuits.
$2 white lawn chairs. French fries. Cold Pepsi cans.
Bare toes tickled by the brown ants sneaking by.

Tip toeing past the yellow jacket guarding the cross walk as she skips over Steuben Street to Ingram Days. Holding tight to a bit of togetherness and the crunch of that bright, red, shiny candy apple sticking to her palm.

Crafton Celebrates pulls her away and secretly hands her the last sweet fried funnel cake with vanilla ice cream on top…just before the mesmerizing lights fire, twist, and whirl in the air. Crack. Bang Bang. Whistle. Boomb!


There it is…

Peace gliding through the air to kiss the promenade of beautiful white cherry trees reigning royally over Steuben Street as they serenade her with special soft silly spectacular sprinkles of childhood.

There they go marching down Ingram Avenue dressed as little monsters and witches in the annual Halloween Parade. Prancing back on over to Resurrection Sunday hunting for those Ingram Park golden Easter eggs.

Shhhhhh….listen…across the way…down past Kentucky Fried Chicken and Payless….her Granddad LeRoy is calling her name as the scent of his Mugshots Cafe’s floating fried fish sandwich lands right on her nose. Grandma’s glance. Aunt Di Di’s grin. Cousin Chuck’s chuckle. Eyes watching God.
The sun sets as the night takes hold.

It’s time to come back little brown girl. Be sure to pull the screen door tight. No need to lock the front door. It’s time for B.E.D. Rest. Recover. Heal. Cause it’s Crafton. It’s Ingram. It’s where your childhood sleeps safely.


Dr. Lisa Pickett is a Pittsburgh native who is a National Board Certified educator currently serving as the English Department Instructional Team Leader at the Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts. She is the Founder/CEO of L Education Consulting as well as the online boutique L Apparel and Print Creations. Her creative work has been featured in the literary anthology Tender and her academic research in the national journal Urban Review.

City of Asylum believes that All Pittsburghers are Poets. With the Poem of the Week series, we seek to increase the readership and appreciation of poetry locally by publishing poems written by residents of Allegheny County of all ages and levels of experience. In partnership with the Poetry Editors at Sampsonia Way Magazine, City of Asylum advances our mission to defend, celebrate, and build on creative freedom of expression. This project received a RADical ImPAct Grant from RAD (Allegheny Regional Asset District).

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