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When you share a birthday with a major metropolis, an ode seems lined up


Hello Hello

Bean to Union Station

Here comes a day

For a citywide celebration.

This is March 4th

By the mayor’s announcement

Chicago adds another year

While I’m just turning grayer.

You’re a windy 187,

I, more than a century less

Our birthdays are the same

But not the same nobleman.

Rogers to Lincoln

Morgan and South Deering

Scope of your guest list

To Edison Clearing.

Meanwhile in the south

My party will be modest

around my kitchen table

Atomic cake pieces will shatter.

Chicago, where I was born,

Getting bolder every year

Against this,

I’m getting weaker and just getting older.

Your interest, your liveliness,

Your unique talent

Your courage, your wind

Your history of courage.

Your games, your shows

Your food and drink

Your politics, your corruption

That nod and that wink.

We both rose from nothing

Our fears to challenge

While I’m leaning on work

“You knew a man.”

Your river, your buildings

You have many festivals

It seems that age is increasing

your shore with a horizon.

Meanwhile in the suburbs

I wrinkle and fade

Under the weight of the years

March 4th amused me.

Chicago is getting old

And yet it is respected

Scandals don’t matter

His critics scoffed.

You still have vitality

Style in the bag.

In some ways you’re getting younger

A mile more mag.

I’m jealous of your love

brings advanced age

a neighborhood community

He sings of revival.

‘Cause things get old

And they’re given center stage

As people grow old

A decrease in pay.

Yes we share the day

Actually we share a lot

We both prefer summer

I spent it on someone’s yacht.

We hate our traffic

But I like our location

We take the chin

Our transportation chains.

We both have problems

Some problems like rocks

for a while in the 80’s

We both had broad shoulders.

We both knew some pain

Some success, some loss

We both saluted the victory

We both stayed away from the boss.

We both love our drama

Although mine is mostly behind the scenes

We both complain about traffic

Potholes and road rage.

We both love our Jordan

We both hate the Mets

We’re both questioning our choices

The colder it gets.

We don’t need to be so flashy

We don’t need high tech

Give us good pizza

A beer and a friend.

We both love adventure

We are proud of our scars

We both have long stories

We left the bars.

There is so much in common

Yet it’s a very different day

As Chicago grows

I’m walking away.

in the shadows

I’m basking in the birthday glow

I collect your confetti

I applaud your performance.

I’ll take my little day

flourished with your great noise

putting on your jacket

It is one of my joys.

happy birthday big city

happy birthday to us

Now go get in your limo

I’m not good with buses.

Donna Vickroy is an award-winning reporter, editor and columnist who worked for the Daily Southtown for 38 years. You can reach him at donnavickroy4@gmail.com.


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