Theme: Travel


The neighbor lady is going
to Sweden to breathe the cleaner air
she says and amidst the fizzle
of back-alley dust swells
and the hum of rooftop garden bees...
I hear her talking about how they speak English there
and how someone from the row of houses
across the street
will take in her newspapers
feed her cat
and put their eyes to her dark windows
to check on the dead furniture.

Touching down in Copenhagen
She blunders into bone-tired sleep
as thick silence wearing thin
the scraps of yesterdays
conversations are broken by the doorbell rings
that come soon after familiar
heels click-clacking up the walk
return her from her half-sleep dreams
she's learned to never expect a miracle
from whatever angel sent this advisor.

Meanwhile back home the newspapers sit stacked neatly
wrapped in bundles two or three days deep
amidst the snow with its spinning drifts in afternoon shadow
and the neighbors drawn as if by
some magnetic force stare through her curtains
into her milky-gray watercolor ruins
waiting for some scandal to come forth
and break the silence there
while she is somewhere on the ends of things
atop a cloud that carries planes
dangling in a mute sky...


More By  :  Bernie McCann

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