Sunday Afternoon in Niagara Falls by Marilyn K. Moody

It’s a grey february day, and we’re
just hanging out in old Niagara Falls,

in a bar next to the river, you know, you
can look out the smoke-smeared window,

and see the river across River Road, but
everyone there has seen that water all their

life, they don’t give a shit about the river or
the falls; maybe you might get a grunt or

something if you talked about Love Canal,
mainly cause everyone knows somebody

whose property values got ruined, and my
friend still points out that gash on the earth

every time we drive here to this sleazy but
not a biker bar here in her home town,

but the real purpose of coming here is
perfectly clear to us and everyone else.

We shoot pool.

The regulars at this bar know

their real purpose too, and they get to their
drinking and don’t even move, so we don’t ever

have to fight to put quarters in the table’s slot,
but we stack up the quarters for at least 10

games anyways, and then we chalk the cues
and then we rack the balls, and then WHOOSH

we break the balls, and you ain’t seen nothing
until you’ve seen the four of us playing pool

in a niagara falls bar in the middle of winter
with the whole bar wishing they were us,

and any guy who challenges our best
wishes he’d left the old bitches alone,

and we’re the main entertainment, we’re
the whole sunday afternoon show,

and we don’t ever let anybody down.

©1997 by Marilyn Moody

The Local Tourist by Amanda Leonard

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip Arrive by Car at Niagara Falls, October 14, 1951. Image courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library

Niagara. She is my favourite painter.

Because I taste limestone on my eyes’ parched lips and swim with carelessness in her urgency in constant motion

Because she is felt on the back of dawn
And not popping within of free fireworks, as she holds a much deeper secret

Her body, decaying with duplicitous effigies of her story, a story of erosion, of two bodies of water, meeting

A story lost without capture, lost outside the frame

Dipping my toes in such honeymoon
Of past loves
More luxurious than any fiberglass tub dripping with scarlet passion
And more than his thick hands on the steel beams hoistening up more divide, parking meters

She is beneath me, underneath those man-made islands
And searchingly, meandering to lower ground,

And its because her sound reverberates on the other side of the world

She sits still, in her royally crescent moon as time flowing through her like silk, changes her

Until, high beams flash in my rearview mirror
Telling me to move along
I have been staring at her for far too long

Source: Amanda Leonard, 2020

Amanda Leonard is an English/Visual Arts teacher who enjoys writing and sketching. She was born and raised in Niagara Falls, but has been nomadic for the last decade.
She is currently writing a novel that is set in modern day Niagara Falls.