Ode to Des Plaines

We’ve got locust plagues

in the form of summertime cicadas that

sap the will to live with their cries before

attaching themselves to shirt backs,

the car seats of those foolish enough to crack

the windows of their AC-less beaters.

Yearly deluges from the Des Plaines River,

to the point where canoe is viable transport.

Wailing and gnashing of teeth

in the unincorporated part of town (where I’m from),

where the primary forms of entertainment are drug use

and drag racing on roads that are more pothole than street.

The city’s claims to fame include being the site

of the Flight 191 crash back in ’79

(still the deadliest aviation accident to occur on U.S. soil);

the hunting grounds of killer clown John Wayne Gacy;

and the hometown of the world’s first Mickey D’s.

Yet with all of that said, here I am anyway.

The prodigal son returned.


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