I wanted to grow up there,
To have N.Y.C D.N.A.
When I left with only a taster
I felt cheated, sentenced to a life thereafter
Suspended in limbo.
When I’ve returned to New York since
I have done so with lofty expectations:
Now I am back where I want to be.
Now I am back where I was once happy.
Now I am back where I will be happy again.
Now, New York scares me.
I find it shakes me
and breaks me,
And finally it spits me out,
More confused than it found me.
But confusion is a slow cure
The singular crime
My dear New York City
Will never allow.
If I were to say:
‘New York is perfect’
Would I wish it no change?
You know what? I’ll say it:
New York is perfect.
Not because The City needs no change,
Though many have tried,
No single person will alone change it.
New York will however, change you.
No matter how old or how young;
How vulnerable or how resilient,
One can be certain
Of undergoing a certain transformation.
For better, or for worse?
I'm afraid it is here that the certainty ends.
But it need not matter,
For one will always be wiser,
Having done time a New Yorker.
I wanted to grow up there
Because I feared I did not,
Yet, now I see,
For better, or for worse,
New York shaped the man I have become.
If that is not growing up somewhere,
I am not sure what is.