Thursday, April 19, 2012


Dawn Potter

You fall into your window seat like a stork
spearing an alewife, my little cabbage,

and you eat so much cabbage!  Chatter
harrows the fog-lit air.  I wad napkins with spilt milk,

socks explode from your rat-tail shoes,
you suck two straws and snicker Farty Mart,

but when you have nothing else to say,
you say, I love you, Mom,

more times an hour than I can bear.
Oh my sweetheart, my barometer,

my wet-nose calf, my chick—
I grimace at a sudden knife of sun, you kick my chair

and bellow, What’s wrong?
early-alert system, wired and ready,

grubby hackles spiked,
bitten fingernail held to the wind.

Moo a tune, you can’t fool me.
I hear you:

Look out, a big one’s brewing, batten the hatches,
I love you, Mom,

I’m ducking my head,
I love you, Mom, I’m ready to run.

[from How the Crimes Happened (CavanKerry Press, 2010)]

Today the boy who was the main character in that poem is driving his junker an hour and a half down Route 95 to Augusta, where he has never driven before, to catch a bus into Boston, a city in which he has never been alone, to transfer to a commuter train line that he has never taken before to travel to a college that has accepted him into the class of 2016, where he will spend the night and the next day with people he has never seen before and then take a return trip back up to Maine, arriving home well after midnight after driving the junker along dark curvy roads spiced with moose and drunkards.

I am trying hard not to think about this too much.


Maureen said...

I so know how this feels.

Dawn Potter said...

Thank you, Maureen. XX