The summer of 2001 was a season filled with wonder and discovery for me. My visits to New York City to see Trish often carried us into Manhattan where she would show me all the sights she knew so well. The Met, Central Park, Times Square, Broadway, Les Miserables and of course, The World Trade Center. I have always given thanks that I was able to behold the WTC in all its magnificent glory before it befell its horrible fate. Their height was majestic, and their simple, clean lines made them elegant icons of the Manhattan skyline. They were the prominent sight from the ferry, and they served as a compass because they could be seen from virtually anywhere on the island.
While Manhattan is a treasure trove of sights and experiences, laden with museums and parks so varied that it can be hard to conceive that you’re still in the same city, it was always the places on Staten Island that Trish visited with such relish and charm. Obviously the street where she grew up held many memories, but places like Lemon Creek always brought that air of simple happiness.
The one place that stood out from all the others on Staten Island was Snug Harbor. Here was a place rich with history where every wall and corner had a story to tell. While the buildings and Great Hall were works of art in their own right, the surrounding gardens and stands of flowers transported you to a place of serenity amid a bustling island of 400,000 people. In honor of the sailors who used to reside there, a fountain adorns the front lawn, and at its center, a statue of the mighty sea-god Neptune stands watch over this haven for those who lived their lives for the ocean.
This fountain always touched me for some reason I cannot explain, and at the end of our long days of hiking about town, we would lie down together and I would ramble on in awe of all I had tried to soak in that day. These thoughts would swirl together with words of whimsical romance as we faded off to sleep.
These times we spent together were the source of inspiration for many poems I composed for her over the next two years. The fountain at Snug Harbor still holds its touch of magic, and our wedding reception was held in the hall nearby, but this poem I wrote the day after we saw the fountain that first time.
“Fountain of Love”
The fountain in the park
Is a beautiful thing to see
Forever renewing yet still the same
Like the love between you and me
Water shooting ever skyward
Sparkling in the bright sunlight
Raining into the pool below
Reflecting the moon and stars at night
Seasons come and seasons go
Even through the winter chill
When the fountain becomes a sculpture of ice
Waiting patiently while still
The waters’ never ending cycle
Defines the love I feel inside
A tiny cupful says “I love you”
But the whole fountain cannot hide
Let all the world see this love of mine
As we drink our daily part
A lifetime of cups cannot run dry
This fountain of our hearts
The shimmering water and the artistic stone
Show what two things together can be
Completing each other like a thing of wonder
Such is this love with you and me.
© Timmy Green – 7/12/2001