I find it impossible to title posts before Iâ€™ve written them (titling poems is even harderâ€“ thinking up lines that might serve for titling is a doomed venture, viable poems seldom proceeding, yielding virtual drawers full of unused lines too singular to incorporate organically). typically I stumble over possible title words like gravel while drafting, tumbling handfuls to good-feeling combinations in the process of editing.
Iâ€™ve been thinking lately about the many possible places, instants, and details that define â€œhome,â€ having just visited one of themâ€“ and having even more recently returned to another. homes that were and homes that are. I return to snow and blackened streets, brown-black trees, things standing out in the cold as outlines of themselves, palimpsest of footprints ringing the park.
I sit beside the front window of my third floor apartment and reacquaint myself after days away with the sensory details of daily life in these partsâ€“ pedestrian traffic, street traffic, train bell clanging. suburbia was and is another world, both different from and the same as it once was: new shiny stores, parking lots, municipal library; eternal mothers with coiffed greying hair, christmas-themed sweaters of primary colors, ankle length fur coats tip-tapping across the street in the village; tailgating drivers, deserted streetscapes dotted with for sale or lease signs, christmas light festooned front lawns and orderly facades.
my mother in perpetual powder blue robe and quilted slippers; my mother seeking me out around midnight with a flashlight through the dark back hallway to where I lie in bed after tiptoeing in from visiting with my sister; my mother laughing off losing her train of thought, apologizing for eating slowly, backseat driving turn by turn by turn, my motherâ€™s running commentary; my mother gone to bed early, sleeping late, talking from the other room; my motherâ€™s saved gift boxes and cereal boxes, magazines and clothing, my motherâ€™s plenty drifting spare rooms and closets, sediment of intention burying itselfâ€“ my mother, my self.
my father sitting reading enormous tomes in his barrel-backed library chair, my father typing away at the computer in my old bedroom for hours, finishing the times sunday crossword puzzle at the breakfast table in minutes; my father cooking farm-delivered bacon for breakfast, four slices each, hunks of meat roasted to succulence, damned roast beef hash; my dad scowling and false-laughing and real(I think) laughing, telling tales at the dinner table; my father looking down, taking his time to answer, not hearing, my father enduring.
last night I dreamed of a prep school reunion set at huron mountainâ€“ convergence of anxieties and identities and situational drama. the details are sketchy at best, eroded to the vaguest feeling.