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

A Place for Things


Things have a place.
Don’t matter what it is
so much as where it is.
Savannah was meant to be
along this shore,
with the river and islands.
The sea birds flying over the marshes.
They still do.
It seemed right.
Like a child born to the right family.
And Savannah grew up to be a proud child,
notable and sensitive.
And that’s how fine things happen
to children and to towns.

Works like that everywhere I suppose.
We’ve got soldiers, writers, artists,
and our share of scalawags.
The graveyards are full of them.
My grandmother was sure I’d amount
to something.
You have good blood she’d tell me.
Just don’t disgrace yourself.
And I’d listen and nod,
and look at her plate of cookies
and she’d smile and give me one.
And I’d smile because she smiled,
and loved me.

I would find my place
and grandmother would be proud of me,
because I wasn’t going to jail,
and I loved where I was.
I promised her I’d write things down
and tell people about grandpa.
That he was a gentleman
and a credit to our southern tradition.
I hope everything happens again.
Then I can grow up twice.

I always set a place at table
for grandma,
pretending she might come
to breakfast.
A place for her like everything else,
and things happen.
At night when I’m dreaming
there’s a song outside,
and she says
thank you for breakfast, Angel Pie.

Published inIndex of all Poems