SCENIC


by John Updike
for Annette
our San Francisco neighborhood]

O when in San Francisco do
As natives do; they sit and stare
Amd smile and stare again. The view
Is visible from anywhere.

Here hills are white with houses whence,
Across a multitude of sills,
The owners, lucky residents,
See other houses, other hills.

The meanest San Franciscan knows,
No matter what his past has been,
There are a thousand patios
Whose view he is included in.

The Golden Gate, the cable cars,
Twin Peaks, the Spreckles habitat.
The local ocean, sun and stars--
When fog falls, one admires that.

Here homes are stacked in such a way
That every picture window has
An unmarred prospect of the Bay
And, in its center, Alcatraz.


1958



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