The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Tuesday


If You Get There Before I Do
By Dick Allen


Air out the linens, unlatch the shutters on the eastern side,
and maybe find that deck of Bicycle cards
lost near the sofa. Or maybe walk around
and look out the back windows first.
I hear the view's magnificent: old silent pines
leading down to the lakeside, layer upon layer
of magnificent light. Should you be hungry,
I'm sorry but there's no Chinese takeout,
only a General Store. You passed it coming in,
but you probably didn't notice its one weary gas pump
along with all those Esso cans from decades ago.
If you're somewhat confused, think Vermont,
that state where people are folded into the mountains
like berries in batter. . . . What I'd like when I get there
is a few hundred years to sit around and concentrate
on one thing at a time. I'd start with radiators
and work my way up to Meister Eckhart,
or why do so few people turn their lives around, so many
take small steps into what they never do,
the first weeks, the first lessons,
until they choose something other,
beginning and beginning their lives,
so never knowing what it's like to risk
last minute failure. . . .I'd save blue for last. Klein blue,
or the blue of Crater Lake on an early June morning.
That would take decades. . . .Don't forget
to sway the fence gate back and forth a few times
just for its creaky sound. When you swing in the tire swing
make sure your socks are off. You've forgotten, I expect,
the feeling of feet brushing the tops of sunflowers:
In Vermont, I once met a ski bum on a summer break
who had followed the snows for seven years and planned
on at least seven more. We're here for the enjoyment of it, he said,
to salaam into joy. . . .I expect you'll find
Bibles scattered everywhere, or Talmuds, or Qur'ans,
as well as little snippets of gospel music, chants,
old Advent calendars with their paper doors still open.
You might pay them some heed. Don't be alarmed
when what's familiar starts fading, as gradually
you lose your bearings,
your body seems to turn opaque and then transparent,
until finally it's invisible--what old age rehearses us for
and vacations in the limbo of the Middle West.
Take it easy, take it slow. When you think I'm on my way,
the long middle passage done,
fill the pantry with cereal, curry, and blue and white boxes of macaroni, place the
checkerboard set, or chess if you insist,
out on the flat-topped stump beneath the porch's shadow,
pour some lemonade into the tallest glass you can find in the cupboard,
then drum your fingers, practice lifting your eyebrows,
until you tell them all--the skeptics, the bigots, blind neighbors,
those damn-with-faint-praise critics on their hobbyhorses--
that I'm allowed,
and if there's a place for me that love has kept protected,
I'll be coming, I'll be coming too.

--------

Look! A Master and Commander e-card! With clips from the extended DVD (out a week from today) including one of the deleted scenes (Stephen in his nightshirt omg*thud*) and Paul and Russell goofing around on the cello and violin! *squees like a pathetic fan girl...oh wait, I am a pathetic fan girl*

By request, my in-laws' beagle Ginger, whom they have had since the year their son and I got married:


Here she is on the baseball field on Friday evening.


And here she is being walked by, or perhaps walking, my son.
</center>
Subscribe

  • Poem for Thursday and Great Falls Geese

    I Am Waiting By Lawrence Ferlinghetti I am waiting for my case to come up and I am waiting for a rebirth of wonder and I am waiting for someone…

  • Poem for Wednesday and Great Falls Cardinals

    The Bird Her Punctual Music Brings By Emily Dickinson The Bird her punctual music brings And lays it in its place— Its place is in the Human…

  • Poem for Tuesday and Carderock

    A wounded Deer – leaps highest – By Emily Dickinson A wounded Deer – leaps highest – I've heard the Hunter tell – 'Tis but the ecstasy of death…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments