I’ve traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada, currently living with my wife of many years in Oak Park, IL, looking forward to one last move to VT later this year. Poems based on the road trips are published in All Over America: Road Poems (FootHills Publishing,). I currently host the podcast series accessible at: www.poetryspokenhere.com
I’ve Got A Bad Feeling
-for Jeff P.
I hate to put it into words,
as if saying death might make it so,
but he was too sick and weak
for the poetry reading last night
or to join us for dinner
at the Riverwest Café.
Just the day before yesterday, people
who had been leading normal lives
were pinned in their cars and trucks
in a huge snowy smashup on I-94.
We can’t know what they felt,
waiting for the jaws of life
to cut them out in near zero weather,
waiting to find out what parts
of their bodies are still working
and what parts are not.
Over dinner we talked
about people we know,
people we knew, and sipped our drinks,
not knowing how it was for him
at home in bed alone.
Today he’s the same, maybe worse.
On the phone, Antler talks about the ER.
Morning news says dozens were injured
in that Indiana pile up
and three died. It’s Sunday.
I’m not a church-going man,
not even a believer. If I were,
I’d kneel down and pray.
Out of My League
Freshman year at an upscale private college
my freshman advisory group met each week
to help with college adjustment. There,
one girl expressed disappointment that she
couldn't bring her pony to campus. Another
talked about the family plane.
First semester I learned that, unlike
high school, you had to do the readings
to pass. I got an F in Western Civ
and a D in something else,
saved only by a B in philosophy
from total disgrace. Second semester,
I read the assignments twice and
brought the overall up to a 2,
enough to transfer out.
Philosophy saved me again,
but Western Civ remained elusive.
It was all new to me;
I thought Bolshevik was a person.
On the other hand, I won a trophy
in the campus bowling tournament,
not much of an accomplishment. After all,
who among my classmates, was a bowler?
National Gallery Days
Calder in the lobby, Miro in the tower,
the little room of small French paintings,
and the old building filled with traditionals.
Cheap lunch, a hotdog or muffin,
in the basement cafeteria with water
or sometimes endless coffee
from the self-serve urn. I sat secluded
by the waterfall fountain musing, pen in hand,
immersed in the art-filled ambiance.
After my pauper's lunch I returned to the galleries
for more slow breathing before heading out
to beat the rush hour traffic home. Taken as a whole
that DC decade was a sad and unrooted time.
I didn't know it then, but looking back
I can see how the National Gallery saved my life.
©2015 Charles Rossiter