A Love Letter to My Hometown

by    /  April 7, 2021  / Comments Off on A Love Letter to My Hometown

by Alexandra Gipson

I grew up in Plum, a funny name for a funny town
whose gaudy purple trash cans display the words
“One Great Big Small Boro”
with pride, as if this town has something to be proud of.
Its only claims to fame are a now-retired pro football player
and the golf course of a country club located
right by the border between boroughs, as if trying
to distance itself from this stupid little place
but falling right before crossing the finish line.

I’ve spent almost a quarter of a century
in this great big small boro filled with confederate flags,
swastikas spray-painted on the sides of bridges,
and the high school sex scandal that had been simmering
for years, whose heat was cranked up to the highest flame
during my senior year, causing water to bubble and spill
over the edge of the pot, burning all who were involved.

Once plums are plucked
from the trees on which they grow,
their sugar levels remain stagnant
until they shrivel up and become prunes.
Too many people have bitten into you
expecting sweetness, juiciness, only for their teeth
to crash into your pit, for their mouths
to be filled with grainy mush.
So when the day arrives that people
no longer want to eat you,
I’ll admit I won’t be surprised — after all,
a town whose namesake is a fruit
is destined to rot.


Alexandra (Ali) Gipson (she/her) is a writer from Pittsburgh, PA, who holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Seton Hill University. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Parhelion Literary Magazine, Buck Off! Magazine, Eye Contact Magazine, and Sirens Call Publications. She is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, works as a legal writer at an immigration law firm, and enjoys reading, alternative and rock music, and Penguins hockey.

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).

Comments are closed.