Log in

"Hubcap Kansas City: Midtown Artist"
Poem by Polly Alice McCann
Broadside Design by Zoe Abner

Dear KC 2023 
Winning Poem

Hubcap Kansas City: Midtown Artist

by Polly Alice McCann

Green is rising
in the woods
just leaves
of nothing in
--when the
ground turns
black with rain
the honeysuckle

a honeysuckle
a popcorn explosion of
honeyed sweet
yellow flowers
with tiny tails.

On Valentine
street, the sun
gilts the pavement
outside the dollar
store. Two joggers fly!
one with a little
black dog.

People wait for the bus.
A man in drag crosses
38th to take his shift
at Hamburger Mary’s
he doesn’t have on
his make-up yet.
He carries a canvas

Clouds scurry
behind the
I-Pho Tower café.
Tired grandmothers
carry heavy coats
hold too tightly the hands
of small children

a grandfather
wears his hat snug lets
the children run
loose. He greets
everyone with a look in the eye
and a nod of his head

Everyone else
walks quickly past
without looking up.
Except the homeless
man who sunbathes
in the parking lot
exhausted--unable to
move. Always
speaking, but
no one understands

-and the city
blooms like a honeysuckle
The mechanic
grinds away at
engines, the sun
flashes on hubcaps.

Tired single mother
and sometime escape artist,
I walk up to the studio,
open the window
to the sound of crows
scratching on the roof.
They flutter and scat to
honking horns like there’s
a jazz party
on the rooftop.
I ready
my brush.


Polly Alice McCann is a long-time Kansas City artist, poet, and speaker. Her lyrical art and poetry have been published in US newspapers and magazines and hung in galleries internationally. Managing editor of Flying Ketchup Press, she says her favorite thing is to tell stories-- other people's, her own-- maybe yours.


Zoe Abner is a graphic designer who has been at Crux for 7 months. She graduated from Kansas State University with Bachelors of Fine Arts in both graphic design and ceramics with a minor in dance. While at K-State she worked as a design intern for the College of Business. Zoe has endless hobbies that are as creative as her work, including but not limited to tap dance, ballet, musicals, and printmaking. An amateur horticulturist, Zoe can also be found shopping for plants or hanging out with her rescue cat, Big Mamas. Zoe’s favorite place in Kansas City is the West Bottoms.


Artists are observers, whether that be of nature or people or anything in-between. I was drawn to the poem “Hubcap Kansas City: Midtown Artist” because I like idea of one artist bringing another artist’s poem to life visually. This idea is what led me to choose digital watercolor for this broadside. Watercolor is one of my favorite artistic mediums to work in and by using live watercolor brushes in Adobe Fresco on my iPad I was able to create something that allows the viewer to see midtown through the view of two different artists. I included imagery of the iPho Tower, a streetcar stop, and honeysuckles to be a roadmap for the viewer while allowing the imagery created by the author to fully transport them, and encapsulating that in a boarder in the shape of Midtown Kansas City.


Young Friends of the Kansas City Public Library in collaboration with KC Streetcar and Crux KC

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software