Thinking of The Bustle of New York

Samantha Finley

I think the opposite: rural Ohio and its lag,
my mother, that Bing Crosby Christmas song

we’d hear on the radio when I was a kid.
The one that, from Ohio, always made Manhattan

seem as if it were as tangible as a scene in a snow globe
that sat in the single shop window of some quaint town,

the glitter flurries falling through a glycerin-water sky,
settling onto tiny acrylic sidewalks. The people:

captured mid-stride, newspapers and scarves mid-flap
as the muffled tone of silver bells waved through

the liquid to the outside world. I thought this
too complex—the peoples’ glued-down belonging

and my wanting to—how Ohio had a bustle of its own
far from the New York kind. I wondered what song

might offer the contrast: the white shimmer of winter
coating the leftover cornstalks of a field in December,

where the only family near may or may not be huddled
around a fireplace inside a distant, glowing farmhouse.

And who, from away, might long for that?


finley, samantha headshot

Samantha is a native Ohioan living, working, and writing in New York City. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, where she received honorable mention for the 2018 Paul Violi Poetry Prize. She can be found on Instagram @samkatfin.

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