Ode to the Zip Code 2018

. April 11, 2018.
ODE-TO-THE-ZIPCODE-2018

Toledo City Paper joined The Fair Housing Center, the Arts Commission and the Toledo Lucas County Public Library asking Toledoans to submit short poems inspired by their zip code — with the number of words in each line of the poem determined by the corresponding digit in their zip code.

The contest, which began in 2016, this year received over 250 submissions. Here’s a small selection of entries which scored highly with our judges.

The winners will be determined during our 419 Day Celebration, from 5:30-7:30pm on Thursday, April 19 at Main Branch of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (325 N. Michigan St.) in downtown Toledo.

Kanayah-Rabbitt-

Kanayah Rabbitt

43613 resident for two years.
Putting my boys to sleep in the city, all I want to do is to sit on my porch, look at the stars in the sky while listening to the vehicles on the highway. Instead, I hear random gunshots and numerous of dogs barking.

43613

Midnight stars shine above
Sounds of gunshots
Vehicles on highway racing fast, loud
Dogs
Kids fast asleep


Gina-Sares-

Gina Sares

43614 resident for about 30 years.
I have great memories of growing up in 43614 and the area has so many hidden gems! Kids from the area know the thrill of sledding down the huge hill by Harvard Elementary and the excitement of a fresh donut from Wixey Bakery.

43614

On Harvard’s frozen hill
we caught snow
in our mouths, then thawed our
tongues
with Wixey’s chocolate glaze.


Anonymous

43537

Monclova, home of homophobes.
Ku Klux Klan
In hooded robes, with those
Trump Pence posters
A most deplorable home to bloated voters.


Camille-Morelock

Camille Morelock

43614 resident for roughly ten years.
I walk to Delaware Park when I need to get away from the roar of the trail and a few summers ago, I met a rough looking red fox. I’ve been calling them “Ghost” and I see them pretty often. If you need anything else, please let me know.

43614

there’s a fox that
lives in Delaware
Park. He watches from the bushes,
I
pretend I don’t see.


Madison-McQueen

Madison McQueen

43615 resident for four and a half years.
The inspiration for this poem came from a neighbor of mine who is also one of my mom’s students. Lately, he has been riding his bike through the neighborhood everyday, and it never ceases to make me smile.

43615

to the autistic boy
who just learned
to ride a two wheeled bike
thanks
for wind on my face


Kathy-Sharp

Kathy Sharp

43612 resident for 18 years.
What inspired my poem was finding out an old friend of mine lost his life from a heroin overdose, less than a mile from my home. It affects so many more people than you realize, and it’s a sad reality in many neighborhoods.

43612

Silence, until you hear
the ambulance sirens.
Your friend took his last breath;
sirens.
Now silence.


Keith-Duerk

Keith Duerk

East Side/43605 resident for three years.
My poem was inspired by a need for change in my neighborhood. A lot more could be done to address economic injustice, homelessness, mental health issues, etc…, but priorities seem to lie elsewhere for now.

43605

I see systemic poverty
ugly and unnecessary
potholes and panhandlers proliferate so abundantly

Naively I dream of possibilities


Justin-Longacre

Justin Longacre

43613 resident for most of my life.
This poem was inspired by an abandoned car with a beehive in the engine block. I am interested in nature reclaiming the vestiges of industry.

43613

Pokeweed around the Pontiac
in the backyard,
a beehive in the engine block,
dripping
oil and honey.


Lydia-Horvath

Lydia Horvath

43609 resident no longer, but I spent many years there as a kid. My parents still live there, so I’m still in that area on a regular basis.
When I was 13, I used to wait for the bus with a group of kids who were into heavy metal and were not interested in being my friends. To pass the (pre-smartphone) time, I would daydream about dorky stuff like instruments of the orchestra, my stamp collection, and horses.

43609

I’m in seventh grade
Waiting for TARTA
On the steps of El Tipico
(no one waiting here speaks
to anyone else)
The others: smoking, sneering; Me: pretending I’m a horse


Kristin-LaFollette

Kristin LaFollette

43614 resident for three and a half years.
When we first moved here, my husband and I struggled to find a place that felt like home to us, but then we found our little rental property near the Maumee River in south Toledo. We love walking our greyhound in our beautiful neighborhood overlooking the water.

43614

We chose this house
near the river,
the dryness of our skin pulling
us
closer to the water


Youth Entries

Mia Westfere

43614

When the neighbors moved
And left me
Washed away with the sidewalk chalk,
Dust,
Once the sun reappeared


Casey Riley

43560

And now I need
A glitchy GPS
To get around a place
I thought I could never forget.
(But I did)


Tulia Pfeffinger

43606

Outside the house, waiting
To go in.
I’m nervous to see the inside
(holdingmybreathholdingmybreathholdingmybreath)
The door opens and I gasp–


Molly Miller

43551

Ice in the river
Spotted tiger lillies
Ants in the grass and
Cicada shells on the pines
Yearly


Sakiah Porchia

43610

Community homes line up
Unity sign-up, Now!
Our homes are not a dump
Trump!
( Unspoken Politics)


Aliciana Martinez

43608

Manhattan, LaGrange, Stickney, Central
Heritage, history, heart
Known as the Old Polish Village

Where my great great grandparents got their start


Grace Lee

43551

Dale’s colossal pancake breakfast
12 o’clock sun
Safety colored grass and family
Short drives and corn fields
Welcoming


Sydney Haydu

43613

Vast potholes litter roads
Garden, zoo, museum
Streets cracked and broken, like citizens
Industrial
Lively; spring’s beginning


Kennedi Jones

43609

Up in the fort
Built for two
I spent my summer nights reading
(Only sometimes past my bedtime)
With the string lights and warm breeze guiding me


Cadence Cosgrove

43611

kids flock about houses
playing with nature
meeting your friend around the corner
peaceful
Playful