Poem for the Nineteen Places I Have Lived

By Richard Luftig

I’ve lived in so many towns
that they take up two full pages
of an atlas—states with no business
having borders in common;
New York touching Michigan,
California just west of Ohio.

Towns where snowflakes fall
large as nickels, or you need
a wooden spoon to stir up
the windless, afternoon heat.
Cities with the lay of the land
so narrow that buildings move up

instead of along. Houses and trailers,
apartments, split-levels, double-wides,
farmhouses with ricks of cordwood
on the porch and shims of kindling
to ply a winter fire made more
for love than heat. Places of plaster,

worn shingle and clapboard. Addresses
to forward your mail or lives rewinding
that vanish just below undulations
in the two-lane road with warnings
in my sideview mirrors that objects
may be much closer than they appear.

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Categories: Issue 5, Poetry | Leave a comment

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