A Street Named Faithful

The art & literature magazine ArtAscent had a call for submissions on the theme of “Home”. I submitted the poem below based on my year living in Victoria. You can read the poem that was just recently published in the mag here. I’m also including it below as, unfortunately, the photograph that inspired the piece was not published with it, and I think it helps the poem make sense.

A Street Named Faithful

Tucked between ocean and city

you’re hard to find

and not that faithful

with faded blue skin

and chipped front tooth

how could I walk by each day and believe in you?


Even when set in concrete

raised eyebrows and question marks follow your name

because you’re not a place

yet I knew where I was with you


Carrying heavy bags of groceries

past the Victorian house on your corner

my soles walking the rhythms of your concrete

wishing you weren’t so long


Rainy mornings you felt my canvas shoes

the sharp point of my umbrella

poking the crevices

testing the depth of your foundation


My first greeting when I left the house

and the word calling me back

you let me know I was safe

home on a street named Faithful


If a streetcar named Desire

takes me away in my youth

in my old age

I will return to you


Cracked and peeling

when my colour has faded

and I have my own chipped front tooth

to find time and erosion

left their marks

but couldn’t erase you


© Charlene Kwiatkowski

4 thoughts on “A Street Named Faithful

  1. Wow! Love it! Being from New Orleans and maker of the Street tile letter replacements for the City, I often do searches of #streettiles and came upon your picture and poem! Thank you! This is perfectly resonates with the passage of time and the names remain for years to come back to see.

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