I’ve returned to my hometown. Chlorine dries in my throat,
my lips chap and crack, the neighborhood pool sits emptied.
My spent days scatter like parched leaves in the grass
that sprouts wildly between the chain links. I think I can settle
into my old self, ride my bicycle along the alfalfa paths,
sing along with Donovan, Wear your love like heaven.
I try my childhood on for size, sitting on a summer
dock, dangling chicken wings on strings for crabs,
swimming across the creek to the sandy beach,
among stinging nettles sighing with nostalgia.
I linger over the sugar-footed cat buried in the field,
my German shepherd pup broken in the wheelbarrow,
under a blanket. I hear Tut leashed furiously to the clothesline.
I’m the movement and sadness on the swing by the pool,
for hundreds of hours after heartbreak, my coat
pulled tight around me, a knit cap on my head,
tears freezing on my cheeks. Around me, January sprouts
in gnarled trees, the baseball field hard underfoot. At home,
I taste tuna fish and olives, jiggle the Yahtzee dice in my palm,
smell the jumble of lipstick-stained filters in my mother’s ashtrays.
When I walk home from the bus stop, I see her face peer
from the folds of the dining room draperies, then vanish.
It isn’t long before everyone knows that she walked in front
of a neighbor’s Volkswagen bus. She wasn’t hurt, but – still.
I walk stoically through the days and pretend that nothing happened,
because the last thing I want is to be different. There are mornings
when I put on the crinoline dress, lace socks, patent leather shoes, and
stories bloom in my head while the house crumples around my feet.
*November 20, 2001*
“POETRY” Invitation: I invite you to write a poem of any poetic form on your own blog about a particular travel destination. Or you can write about travel in general. Concentrate on any intention you set for your poetry.
In this case, I wrote about what it was like to travel back to my hometown in Yorktown, Virginia.
You can either set your own poetic intentions, or use one of the prompts I’ve listed on this page: writing prompts: poetry. (This page is a work in process). You can also include photos, of course.
Include the link in the comments below by Thursday, June 6 at 1:00 p.m. EST. When I write my post in response to this challenge on Friday, June 7, I’ll include your links in that post.
This will be an ongoing invitation, on the first Friday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂
I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!
the ~ wander.essence ~ community
I invite you all to settle in and read a few posts from our wandering community. I promise, you’ll be inspired. 🙂
I am traveling from April 4 to May 10. If I cannot respond to or add your links due to wi-fi problems or time constraints, please feel free to add your links in both this post and my next scheduled post. If I can’t read them when you post them, I will get to them as soon as I can. Thanks for your understanding! 🙂
Thanks to all of you who wrote poetic posts following intentions you set for yourself. 🙂