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0 Comments | Dec 08, 2009

My America Exerpts

Click play below to listen to a reading of this poem by the author.

My America
stands outside the nursery
at Bath Memorial Hospital,
one hand raised to the glass,
uncertain which is the one.
Already concerned
about strained carrots
and strollers
and college
and being needed.

My America
waits at a New Haven bus stop,
shoes moist
with early
morning dew.
Holds tight
to the youngest one’s tiny hand,
to let her go alone
to that first day
of kindergarten.

My America
thrashes and beats
rubber on concrete
as Newark back lot boys
slam-dunk dreams
through steel chain hoops
that jingle
in the August heat
like life flying away.

My America
stands at the corner
of Watson Street and Lee.
Gazes up
at the telephone lines
and sneakers
in Warwick’s afternoon breeze.

My America
pumps and kicks
tiny legs against
the brilliant Darlington sky.
Makes the old tire swing
pull hard against the
fat maple branch,
its bark worn through
with generations
of laughter.

My America
works the night shift
on the Smithfield killing floor.
Wields a bloody cleaver,
cutting the throats
of three hundred hogs
every hour.
Leaves work at eleven.
Grabs a double cheeseburger
at McDonald’s
before driving home
to hug the children.

My America
sits in a dark
Louisville bar
slamming Miller Lights,
whining about pureness.
Rips and tears
at the brightly woven
dreams of foreigners
come only
to have a go of it.
To cast their die
upon the endless
green expanse.

My America
pulls into Memphis
after midnight.
Checks into the Motel 6.
Fumbles with the key card
that slides ineffectually
through the lock.
Searches madly for the remote.
Finds only the Gideon Bible.
Curses as the walls shake
next door.

My America
stops at a roadside
garden stand
an hour west of Peoria.
Carefully chooses
snap peas and wax beans.
Pours them into
wrinkled paper sacks.
Decides at the last minute
to get a quart box
of tiny silvery blueberries,
just right for corn flakes.

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