PLACING MY PLACE

by Jnana Hodson

the first week rained daily except Sunday
with memories of moss-roofed, garden-slug Seattle

the next week steamed oppressively
with its sweat-dripping Baltimore

the wet evergreen-and-fern mountains
recalled the Cascade Range in the Far West,
and the Poconos and Catskills along this seaboard

the old brick mills lining the river
had already come forth in my invention

the triple-deckers on the French-Canadian hilltop
stood out from Binghamton and the Susquehanna
where they’d been Irish and Italian,
for the most part

to locate this new place in my mind
revisited my past, even the factories
in parking-lot seas
and vast green rectangles of Midwestern proficiency

this, too, was a river city
without barges and tugboat blasts in the night

a city of canal locks
replaced by a railroad roundhouse

a city of endless Lent I’d hoped to escape
in some New World
overflowing with pyromaniac romance
not this American flag fetish
erupting with every breeze

I gazed out the window
at a white cat calmly sitting in drizzle

make of it what you will

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Copyright 2015

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