Bio Note: As I age, I find myself thinking both backwards and forwards. These poems are about trying to make parts into a whole. I live and write in Connecticut, where I also teach and am poet laureate of my town.
Outside, heavy machinery grinds at the street surface,
scoring the pavement for re-sheathing
in shiny new macadam.
The rumbles began this morning before seven,
grind on like time and the endless questions
about the meaning of existence.
You are at the doctor, limping after an audible
anatomical snap, a mere year after shoulder surgery.
Who might I be with you infirm
is a different question than
who I might be with you gone.
Your aging makes me lonely on this fall
afternoon, in which trees shed leaves like skin,
and the road surface is worn down to its soul.
It’s about how that vastness,
the apparent nothingness that is space,
which really isn’t nothing at all,
can change us from one something
into another something.
We become in response
to forces we haven’t recognized,
and so become unrecognizable
All the forces of the universe--
our expended energy, the energy
passing through bone and cell
as if we were paper--
creating irreparable damage
we are incapable of feeling,
all the while us believing we are not
as sky and cloud: inseparable.
Foursquare in junior high was blood sport.
Getting chosen, being in the box—or out--
determined your fate for the year.
You thought you would outgrow it.
Become more eight-sided or even round.
But that never happened,
except to Eddie who dropped out at sixteen
(divide by four, four squared)
because he was too fuckin’ smart for high school,
with his long, greasy, black locks,
and frayed plaid shirt that wobbled around his slender frame.
He lived on my bus route, climbing up a dirt driveway alone
to whatever was in that house.
Google can’t find him. Imagine that.
He refuses, even now,
to be boxed into my screen.
© 2018 Laurel Peterson
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