Academic journal article Field

Lucky Life

Academic journal article Field

Lucky Life

Article excerpt

Lucky life isn't one long string of horrors

and there are moments of peace, and pleasure, as I lie in between the

blows.

Lucky I don't have to wake up in Phillipsburg, New Jersey,

on the hill overlooking Union Square or the hill overlooking

Kuebler Brewery or the hill overlooking SS. Philip and James

but have my own hills and my own vistas to come back to.

Each year I go down to the island I add

one more year to the darkness;

and though I sit up with my dear friends

trying to separate the one year from the other,

this one from the last, that one from the former,

another from another,

after a while they all get lumped together,

the year we walked to Holgate,

the year our shoes got washed away,

the year it rained,

the year my tooth brought misery to us all.

This year was a crisis. I knew it when we pulled

the car onto the sand and looked for the key.

I knew it when we walked up the outside steps

and opened the hot icebox and began the struggle

with swollen drawers and I knew it when we laid out

the sheets and separated the clothes into piles

and I knew it when we made our first rush onto

the beach and I knew it when we finally sat

on the porch with coffee cups shaking in our hands.

My dream is I'm walking through Phillipsburg, New Jersey,

and I'm lost on South Main Street. I am trying to tell,

by memory, which statue of Christopher Columbus

I have to look for, the one with him slumped over

and lost in weariness or the one with him

vaguely guiding the way with a cross and globe in

one hand and a compass in the other. …

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