Monday, April 4, 2011

Anywhere (for my sister Kathy)

The beige rotary wall phone tied you
to the kitchen counter, your shoulder holding it to your ear
while you stared at your parents talking over
Cronkite’s black and white delivery
of the news from Selma.
Confronted by the plainness of your life
in all its glory, you longed to be in New York City,
read at the City Lights Bookstore,
or raise a pint of ale in Devonshire;

though you knew not what ale was,
who was drinking it, what was being read,
why it mattered or what stranger you would
make love to the East Village.

You only knew you wanted
the cynosure of anywhere,
longed for it, heard rumors of it
in music and from that teacher
all parents rightfully distrusted.

Until after years of retreat,
when you could no longer abide
the estranged languor, the flatness,
the sheer absence of madness,

you gently laid that beige phone
on the countertop, let it fill the room
with the sound of bees,
and went in search
of anywhere.



R

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