Issue 13 | Winter 2013


I can imagine living a whole life
in the house my parents almost bought in Morris Plains
across from the train station;
the way I almost played Red Light, Green Light
in that park next to the library
and almost went to school
at St. Virgil’s Parish, on Speedwell Avenue;
the way my father almost made thirty years
of slow, moonlit walks to the station in winter,
my mother
waving from the kitchen window.
I can imagine growing up,
and almost taking the same train
to some publishing job in the city,
and coming home
to dinner with my parents next door,
to children who, on weekends,
almost hunt for clovers in the same park
I almost knew the name of once.

And how different
that life that barely passed me by
seems now
from this lonely, sunny afternoon at the beach
on some base in Virginia
under the brick-red blaze of summer—
the mothers fortified under hats and sunblock,
the tired children slowing down around me,
and a man
who could almost be my father
waving to the person behind me.

Filed under: Poetry