Monday, August 21, 2006

a call from portland


You're in a car somewhere I called home,
sky wrapped around the windows, witnessing
swelling subdivisions, gas stations; the franchised,
highwayed loam turns red, then gold.

And then you come to rain. That cold mother
grows everything, even the asphalt gives way
to green. I miss her cold face, but also the way the
dull landscape brightens when the sun burns

the sky clean. You complain about the clouds casually,
as if I would agree, but I think of rain jealously.
I see evergreens under wet blurry skies, caf├ęs, coffee
brewing, wide windows under awnings, dripping.

Here, above my eastern apartment, the clouds
themselves are ancient, the heavens august. A land
settled, its stone walls tired, its trees don't know me.
But here is where I wait for you, and wonder.

Return from my horizon, from the drizzle of memory.
Bring with you the slip-shod light of morning, the creak of
stairs, and a bed full of library books: my childhood under
the wet sky run down the eaves of my parent's home.

2 comments:

Lucy said...

I think this needs help. Julia?

Julia said...

Are you kidding? Here I am at 5 in the morning, wide awake thanks to a hiccuping fetus, reading your blog. Maybe I would be more critical at a different time of day or different state of mind, but right now I think it's perfect. My favorite image is the one on library books on your childhood bed while it drizzles outside. I picture those crackly cellaphane covers that only library books have. I always felt like Portland came alive on the map for me through getting to know you, and this poem encapsulates that perfectly. In fact, recently I met someone from P and started wondering about you and whether you ever miss it; it seemed so much a part of your identity when I first met you. I think this may be one of my favorites of all poems that you've written.

And, well, o.k., I did notice that "parents" in the final line needs an apostrophe to make it possessive, unless you're deliberately taking artistic license.

I feel like I'm dominating your blog with my verbosity lately. Sorry everyone. Sometimes I forget it's public.