– mahoning –

From this old house

on a prominent street

in a rusted neighborhood

in a shadowy town

in a land that is always trying…


oh bittersweet Mahoning, 

you give and take with no mercy,

don’t you?


The families that have move in,

moved out,

the single souls who have loved without caution,

lost without warning…

the elderly eyes

that have seen such color,

the young babes

who have no idea what they’re in for…

the bonds spoken and silent,

the disputes internal and external,

the beginnings and endings that make

for a mild Midwestern soap opera…


is it better to stay and tough it out

or fly free and roam about?


In a land where neighbors and strangers are one and the same,

in an environment where connections and deceptions equal fun and games,

these are the elements I witness

in a land that is always trying

in a shadowy town

in a rusted neighborhood

on a prominent street

from this old house.



D.J. Whisenant


2 thoughts on “– mahoning –

  1. Making the first line and the last line the same is something I have often used even in the longer essay form. MLK used the refrain effectively in oration but it works naturally in song but poetry and prose as well.

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