Volume 35, Number 1

Fair Claremont

This town of seven colleges,
seventy-eight beauty salons—
Narmouné, Be Rosie, Escape—
three sushi joints,
one bookstore.

This town of no chain stores,
artisanal farmers market,
wide sidewalks but no sidewalk tables,
residents who feel fine calling police,
frequent parking sweeps.

This town of trees,
native oaks and pines,
outsiders like eucalyptus
weakened by drought,
limbs breaking off, crushing cars.

This town of older women thin as birds,
J. Jill and Coldwater Creek feathers,
League of Women Voters, Patriots for Freedom,
calling the cops on Girl Scouts,
silver pixie short hair, driving to their workouts.

This town, Chamber of Commerce tea towels:
If you’re lucky enough
to live in Claremont,
you’re lucky enough.

Homeless folk outside the library.

—Karen Greenbaum-Maya