Aiming to keep my dirt-dwelling life simple, special and sweet

Street Names Make Me Wonder

Each morning and night, as I walk my dog, I giggle when I see the street signs: Otter Drive, Beaver Creek, Snow Leopard Lane. I imagine the long cherry table at which dignified planners sat, sharing possible names for the streets of my subdivision. Names, I'm sure they said, are important. The names of the streets must match the neighborhood theme - Woodland Park - and have a welcoming feel. 

I just think its funny that the names of our streets pay homage to animals that we do not have in our neighborhood (and maybe never did). No otters or beavers as there is not a creek in which they could swim, and even in the snow no leopards stalk the streets. 

Nope - no snow leopards in my neighborhood

Each time I walk, I remember one of my favorite poems by Billy Collins and how much I laughed when I was lucky enough to hear him read it aloud in person. I was at the National Writing Project meeting in 2009. If you have 38 minutes, spending it with Billy Collins is so worth your time - I promise:   

Yet, here is the poem I remember when I walk on my funny named streets:

The Golden Years by Billy Collins 
 All I do these drawn-out days
is sit in my kitchen at Pheasant Ridge
where there are no pheasants to be seen
and last time I looked, no ridge.

I could drive over to Quail Falls
and spend the day there playing bridge,
but the lack of a falls and the absence of quail
would only remind me of Pheasant Ridge.

I know a widow at Fox Run
and another with a condo at Smokey Ledge.
One of them smokes, and neither can run,
so I’ll stick to the pledge I made to Midge.

Who frightened the fox and bulldozed the ledge?
I ask in my kitchen at Pheasant Ridge.

No comments: