how to get to know a place

In this poem, I pay homage to the place I come from, the place that continuously inspires me, and to the things that remind me of home.What reminds you of home?

How to Get to Know a Place

to the left there are fields,

copper, silver, gold, tarnished,

every color of life and decay,

and  crumbling wooden barns,

abandoned brick foundations,

orphaned chimneys, everywhere

paint peeling; tell me your color stories

and i’ll sing you goodnight

moon, shining,

i breathe his skin at midnight,


how many other heals have tread this grass before?

four thousand hands have held

books, bombs, body parts

in the back seats of breaking-down chevys,

or underneath maple leaves, always falling,

on these steps, near this

monument where high school boys

impress girls with trembling bodies?

the american revolution came through here,

right here,

there is history in the grass

blades, and if you listen

in the quiet

there’s a cacophony

of birds, fleeing,

metal giants in the corn fields,

focus on the tepid breeze,

reeds dancing, pond ripples

reflecting the secrets

found in the dark parts of the sickle moon.

smoke swirling around crackled banisters,

ashing into empty soup cans,

lighters competing with revolutionary stars;

and how many mason jars could

you fill with running mascara tears

fallen from sour hearts,

marbles lost and money won?

eventually you must let

the stuff go, the letters, the post cards

receipts, gardening shears,

honey coating cups of tea,

half a glass of wine.

eventually the flood lamps drown,

the moon rises and the sun swallows cotton clouds,

each home full of sleeping children,

percolating coffee and half-eaten bowls of cheerios

freckling a relief map

of a small upstate town.


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