Suffolk’s Voice

Published 10:44pm Monday, January 20, 2014

By Nathan Richardson

Suffolk has a collective voice

Nathan Richardson
Nathan Richardson

a sound distinct in Hampton Roads

A downtown not so loud it drowns out

the sounds of surrounding neighborhoods

The bells still ring clear

from church steeples on Main Street


Although traffic is getting heavy on the bypass

farm tractors still plow through acres of rich soil

and seagulls from the Chesapeake Bay

fly in daily for a very lively lunch, we have

a unique mix of classic sounds and scenic views


Our train station has become a museum

but more trains than ever rumble along the tracks

more boxcars and coal than passengers these days

automobiles get people around in less efficient ways

but nightfall amplifies the locomotive’s horn

like long questions still asking sleepy travelers

Where are you coming from

and where are you going


Pick any deck or back porch on a Friday night

and turn your ear in the direction of the lights

and hear the distant drums of high school bands

the faint sound of cheers from the stands

the home team just scored a touchdown


Urban sprawl and nature’s call

have found a healthy balance

summer nights when whippoorwills

and children break the silence

with a tale of two cities, a uniquely blended sound

reassuring voices of the citizens who have found

that whether you were born here

or have been here for a week

neighbors almost always

take the time to speak


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