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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

Where Childhood Hides

Gravel streets and railroads,
snaking down to Sandusky Bay.
The rails were a lattice along the water.
It is not plain to me
where the apples were,
or the buckeyes.
Childhood is in the cupboard
behind the spices,
near the dark aromatic wood
of the wall.

It was a small town of churches
and open lots,
houses square as boxes
by vegetable plots,
worn grass, and weeds.
The graveyard was a quarry of stone,
names chiseled on their mastheads,
stacks of newsprint in the attic,
obscure dates and pictures of black
and white.

How many explosions have I heard
in the passing years,
horns and bells?
But none like those I heard there.
There are no bottles for sunlight,
the smell of peonies,
the dry dust of pungent stone,
the passing of people
who resemble no one I see now.

The sound of horns
coming from the freighters
on the bay,
passing like black islands
down the channel,
fish odor by the piers,
and my family before its scattering.
Leaving with promises to return.

The echoes of playmates,
Donald, Robert, Junior
one day saying,
another day saying,
we are moving,
and I knew it was forever,
rain that never returns.
My loneliness dissolved in time,
replaced by other losses,
until for every memory
there are a host of days
I can never recall.

Except like dreams,
when I waken,
and wonder,
what was it I dreamed?
Why do I ache,
so close to tears,
for things lost and gone inside?

Published inIndex of all Poems