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chicago
I flew to you excitedly though we had never met
Now to your Midwestern destination I got my sights set
You’ve always been so grandiose, so much larger than life
Beauty legendary but with a rep for strife

World Series race did not Chicago murder spree slow down
Even as Cubs played at Wrigley grimmest reaper took many home
Fifty-nine folks struck by bullets, seventeen went to the morgue
Like cities everywhere suffering falls on shoulders of the poor

Constellations they collided and made the stars align
In times of increasing discord you proved hope can survive
I alighted on your shores; from my vessel disembarked
Wary of the swarming fish; was on lookout for hungry sharks

I’ve lived in your shadow, seen you weather bad times and good
When others flocked to you hungrily I just watched and stood
This year of jubilation millions praise you gleefully
Journeyed with throng of pilgrims and fell down upon my knees

Many stories have I heard of your harsh welcoming ways
Venturing into you arms fell into idyllic haze
Warm sunshine fell on my shoulders, a breeze did cool my brow
All around were smiling faces whispering, “Holy cow!”

I came not as a sportsman; man who worships bat and ball
But from every Chicago corner I heard laughter fall
Competition’s no easy thing; makes winners and losers
In this season of triumph Chicagoans’ hearts were stirred

It’s hope that keeps us going, let’s us carry on through the gray
Cold, Chicago winter’ll be arriving any day
But today in Illinois city, massive toddling town
Beaming rays of hope have erased many a deep dark frown

My Indian Summer idyll in land of Abe Lincoln
Is funny little nod to Norman V. Peale’s brand of thinking
Because what looks like water but intoxicates like wine
Is to finally break our bonds and stand upright in sunshine

Inclusive welcome you exhibited as you took me in
Made big onion lover out of me; Chicago’s a win
“This is my kind of town, Chicago is my kind of town,
Chicago is my kind of people, too, people who smile at you”

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