When I Loved San Francisco


When I loved San Francisco

It was before it was called Frisco.

It was before the tourists mobbed the Pier.

And it was before Beach Blanket Babylon.

It was China Town.

It was Allioto’s

And fishermen at the piers.

Ending with rum and coke at the local bar.

Cable cars and overhead trams.

Clear winter skies and foggy summers.

Old bookstores and hippie sandwich shops.

Black and white photos of Maiden Alley.

Beef Eaters at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

Recitals at the Palace of the Legion of Honor.

A trek to Coit Tower.

Polo matches, bike riding: nasturtiums in the park.

A little girl from the French School

Racing the cable car down

Powell Avenue

With her book bag and saddle shoes.

The hard, grey, cold, pounding sea.

Joggers impervious.

Orange-haired manicurists in dingey shops,

Joyfully making family celebrations every weekend.

Sunny days at Candlestick.

Drunken fans in the parking lots

With responding and friendly police.

Front page news you could trust.

Herb Caen to put it all into perspective.

And the Golden Gate.

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