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Natalie Lyons
MAGNOLIA AVENUE

Miracle Mile jumped the tracks and spread to Union Station
where Greyhound bus riders and Amtrak train viewers wait
surrounded by manicured beauty of red brick buildings
accented with purple petunias and yellow alamanda vines.
DeeDee’s Hot Dog House hung a new plastic sign
and a magenta awning to shade the sparkling window
that rattles when the train rumbles past.

The architect Andrew Copeland has spread
the good fortune across the street where the Avenue
divides. His stucco station with a barrel tile roof
fills the center of the “Y.” Twin islands out front hint
at what used to be, round top gas pumps where attendants
with name tag patches sewn on their tucked-in shirts
ran to hear “fill-er-up” as customers sat
in the comfort of Fords and Chevys.

The miracle stopped at the Salvation Army building
where years ago ugly metal shutters rolled down
over plate glass windows — perhaps for a hurricane,
and no one since has taken them away. No flowers here,
only cigarette butts and those down on their luck litter
the parking lot. Next door Toffaletti’s Hardware store,
where mom bought spatterware bowls and dad
bought nuts and bolts in odd sizes, has boarded the door
that held an Open/Closed sign hanging from a chain.