Academic journal article Care Management Journals

Five Poems

Academic journal article Care Management Journals

Five Poems

Article excerpt

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK AT WHEN I VISIT THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD?

Oh good-hearted tourist, the best vistas are

here in my head, as you know already.

The streets I loved, I still love. Sycamores

probably gone now, sick no more.

Exiles from Warsaw, from Ukraine

might feel this unusual pain. Brodsky, Milosz

could write about St. Louis, d'y'think?

Hopper could paint dank clouds, empty factories.

Herringbone brick sidewalks. Houses, shells

now blackened; my/your beautiful city fading.

Solid as a brick shit house. Schools like temples.

Canna beds each spring in the school front yards.

Come, you tired and heavily laden. Poplars

and trellises of grapes mark my old neighborhood.

The marriage of the Old World and the New.

Missouri sky of blue, spaces beyond me, forever.

Look for street lamps, they are the same. Look

for streets named for great generals. Look for

Calvary cemetery where my illiterate grandfather

lies dozing in his grave, under pale, thirsty flowers.

BOOKS IN FOURTH GRADE

Art is beautiful, on the wall or, say, my dress

with embroidery on the sash. Ben Franklin

admired "good copper cuts" in Pilgrim's Progress

rescued from the sea. Our classroom had a row

of books on the window sill. Books, more than

the world outside, would appeal. Beauty!

Again and again, I would look at Paul Brown's

War Paint. His pencil drawings of horses-

my afternoon gallop. Winter sunlight slanted

across our desks. Do the math. We did the math,

folded foolscap, sharpened pencils. Then-

free reading time, beginning happily ever after.

POET AT WORK AGAIN

Age five, I draw a swastika on the bus window

all steamed up with winter moisture. My finger

is a cool tool as I draw familiar lines I had seen

in newspaper cartoons. Why? To annoy?

My mother turns to grab my hand, and says,

"Don't do that! People will think you're a Nazi!"

Censorship of the arts in Tulsa, Oklahoma,

during World War II. …

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