Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Sudden Change of Seasons, poetry

I'm like a bulldog with a bone. I get my teeth into something and I can't let go. Sometimes I don't go far enough, but sometimes, I go too far. Jo(e) tells me, no, no, I like the earlier one better. Not this poem, but 12 others. Briget Pageen Kelly repeats jo(e)'s words, like a litany.

I've left the other vesion of this I was working on somewhere. I have to go find it. But see, what I was doing here was changing the line breaks to emphasize certain words to make me not have to say to the reader, look, this is what is happening here. I hope they understand. Maybe they did already. I need to know when to trust that I've said enough, trust the reader, and when to say more--unpack those images.

A Sudden Change of Seasons

We started on a family trip to the city, but

in stacks at a crowded bookstore,

searching for books in ancient

Greek and Latin, my father

disappears. The aisles are now oddly empty.

Only my mother and me, bumping

into each other in our frantic search.

It is later

than we thought. We’ve missed

the downtown bus. Eat lunch instead

in Liverpool, at a outdoor café. In the sun.

Between planters of petunias and golden

honey locusts, we watch for my father.

I think I see him,

an anonymous man

in a brown felt hat and flapping trench coat

headed our way with a package of books

tied in brown twine. The city bus

blocks him from sight, won’t stop

when I try to flag it down. When it is gone

without us, my father is gone

again, too. I think he’s vanished

into the city until I spot him


with a group of children,


up the snowy hill with an air mattress.

Face full of fun and light,

he turns, waves once,

and continues on

without us.

Mary Stebbins

For Pa

[050615b, 050409-3b, 020217-2x, 1]

I don't like orphan lines, so for that reason alone, this isn't done yet. Comments? (jo(e)--don't be worried if you suggested something I didn't add it yet, I don't have the copies up here right now!)

No comments: