Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Terra Incognita

I recently had the experience of driving through a small town and catching a glimpse of a house I would swear I had been in years ago. I knew I hadn't, but just for a second I was reminded in a very visceral way of a place I remembered from decades ago.

In any case, I've started writing poetry again because... well, because I need some sort of creative outlet and the job takes an awful lot out of me -- enough that I can't do more than think about writing a whole play or starting a new painting. (Which I fully intend to do... after I finish the painting I already have started.) So here's my latest effort. I thought I'd share, in case this has happened to you, too.

Terra Incognita

You are in a town you don’t know,
driving through, terra incognita:
Here be monsters --
yet familiar somehow,
when you see it: a house.
A house you somehow know.

You know its architecture, the bones of it,
the geography of its rooms,
the way the floors slant, and where
there is need of paint.

You’ve spent time there: weekends,
late nights drinking, smoking,
long, hilarious talks with friends
whose children are now married.
You went to the weddings.
People, too, who have forgotten you by now,
and people who have died.

It smells of wine and simmering soup,
also the salt air of a coastal town,
though landlocked and forbidden to you now.

You want to go in,
to see if you are right
about the rooms, the rugs, the water stains…
But suppose you do:

All those people will be there too,
the voices and the shades,
drinking, murmuring, staring at you.
It would only upset them
to see you again so suddenly.
And what would be the point of that?

No comments:

Post a Comment