Friday, November 28, 2008

The Simplicity of Travel

Choice of clothes – from among a few things in a bag.
No trinkets from your own home lying about, the room
gratefully devoid of personal memories. You need do nothing
about the phone call you didn't return before you left. Your alibi
is secure. Your cat is taken care of and will not jump
onto your head at 5 a.m. because she is far away and without a map.
You take artistic pictures of lamp posts in downtowns where
you are not recognized. To eat in restaurants, pay the check,
and walk away. To board buses whose destinations
you are unsure of that fill with people who could care less
you are there, who place dripping umbrellas under their feet.

It is here, the point at which you leave the bus and step out into
the busy street that looks like nothing you have learned
to take for granted, that travels as fast in one direction as the other,
that your faculties will fail you eventually, and so,
you will look around for someone; it will be someone laden
with closets and drawers full of clothes, who is haunted
by the phone call she didn't yet make today, who has forgotten
her umbrella on a bus, whose cat waits at home for her,
hungry and sharp-clawed.

You must open to her as if the knots unfurling within your neck
and shoulder blades would to roll out toward her like a golden rope.
And she, turning in your direction as you hover - almost imperceptibly -
above the sidewalk next to the lamp post - just this morning it stood
invisible to her knowing eyes - will respond with the help you need,
with more, in fact, than she thought herself capable. Though she isn't sure
if the amber light is coming from you or the lamp, she feels warmer
suddenly and the air around her smells uncluttered, and she will do
anything, anything you need.


bobbie said...

Very nice, my dear! The first time you've put your work on line?

Dianne said...

that's so beautiful

made me think of NYers stopping to talk to tourists

it also made me think of a homeless man at Penn Station who always opened the doors for, as he put it, "the travelers only" - he swore he could always tell.

wonderful photos down below.

Kitty said...

thanks for the comments. No, of course not the first time I'm put up poetic-like stuff - Two poems in August and others in the past.

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