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Maine to Georgia

alesnick's picture

Maine to Georgia

by Alice Lesnick, 2012

you know this game

you are in a new place  

there’s a lull and you look around, a little up the street line  

could I live here?  the answer must always be yes

yes in a rented room in bangor, pa

where dad and uncle irving went to live during the depression

and a kite was ruined before little brother could fly it

no work for grandfather in nyc, grandma wrote her mother every day to testify

that life went on

even there

yes in downtown seattle

where you sashayed first, a loaf of bread under each arm

and a pack of cigarettes in your sexy jeans

the girl ben franklin as a young anarchist no date to keep

no one else’s time either

yes along the AT a drowsy summer day by pen mar park

where the pavillion (a pavillion!) is already set up for a wedding

and where will follow the very finest in big band era dance music

every sunday from 2 pm to 5 pm rain

or shine


the      answer     must     be     yes    so    

the answer     is      yes   

yes    yes

-- the ground itself crying for love of queen anne’s lace, peas

so sweet they burn your eyes and your mind like the tips of hot rods

quiet between the houses muffling god knows what inside, flags

at half-mast for one fallen young like the kite that flew so short a time

the answer is always yes so yes it is yes i am saying yes, you know?

while right next door the neighbor marrieds lush on and the neighbor trees waltz


but the thing is        the thing is

the thing


there’s a window, see,

and your fresh thoughts care for what it opens on

whatever it is, and that it opens

however it does

this game is hard to win