River Road

River Road

River Road

River Road

Synopsis

Set primarily in a garden alongside a tidal river in Maine, River Road maps the troubled path of a middle-aged man torn between longing for an idealized past that never existed and realizing he must remain vulnerable to a future of love.

Over Breakfast

... he said, We need to reinvent
ourselves
, meaning not so much the
pair as the each of us, as if we
could unroll the raw blue-print of
being, right there
on the table between us
by setting our bowls and cups at
the corners to fix it
in place and staring down
abstract anew the physics of stress and
tolerance into other schemata, as if time
were a constant
and love, an infinite variable
that always yields a positive future, but
one yet together, as if mindfulness were
will and will by necessity commands
action. So we sat, long, looking each into
the other's eyes.

Excerpt

Let’s take the scenic route, he’d sometimes say
on our drives back to my house from Ogunquit
before he’d leave for home. Spur-of-the-moment,
or so it seemed, his impulses forced me to brake hard
and swerve well short of my usual turn on Rte. 1A.

Instantly, the mortised angles of our days
would loosen as I shifted to take the curves
past the corner baker’s shop. the road
would open then like a mother’s oven door and spill
a brief aroma apple-warm across the asphalt.

One time at the bend where the Baptist church
perches on its knoll, he asked, as if insisting,
Wouldn’t you love to live on this road?
The bell tower’s lead-white caught the sun
and cast a blinding glare upon us.

At the opposite curb, the old colonial
we admired, with its weathered shakes,
Yes, I admitted, past the graveyard and the bridge

Where the estuary begins to broaden
toward a glimpse of lighthouse and the sea.
The blacktop shimmered that day before us,
itself a flow of water ending at the shore.
We’ll build a home here when I’m free.


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