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The Golden Gate is a Metaphor

Work in progress, part of something I intend to call “A San Francisco Odyssey”

The Golden Gate Is a Metaphor

The visitors said,
We have come to seek the Golden Gate
To climb Lincoln Boulevard
On rented Blazing Saddles
Filling our lungs with eucalyptus,
To brave the wind, the fog, and the foghorn,
The real cyclists and the other tourists zigzagging around us
As we take pictures
Of boats sailing underneath
Coming for the promised gold.
For the bridge isn’t, as promised,
Golden, it is the Gate that is
An opening, a passage
Allowing the gold seekers to come and go.

Now of course, they fly over it
The captain tells them “there it is, folks”
And they twist their stiffened necks
To see the bridge
Perhaps to compare it with a postcard, or a Ghirardelli chocolate wrapping,
A view they had before
Of it next to a cable car and Alcatraz
And if their view were really warped
Next to palm trees and snow.

How many photographs, and paintings,
How many imprints on retinas, engravings in memories,
Speak of it as the golden city
The true sightseers avoid,
Never crossing the gate
Where peace, love, and a little bit of weed
Liberated personalities and genders
That have found it to be home.

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