Comings and Goings

By on Jul 12, 2015 in Poetry

Aerial view of Kansas City with long grass overlay

My own are scattershot
and the neighbors’ flicker
and stutter like the lives
of diners peering at menus
within little squares of light
on a passing train. How can I
help picturing myself up above
in Seat 17A looking out
at clouds, myself the size
of a baby’s thumbnail
on that passenger jet
still lifting on its way
to Kansas City. Right now
I see Steve’s living room lights
at 6 a.m. on Sunday, so I wonder
if he, the neighbor who wears
earphones when he mows,
ever gets a day off, and if he is
still Steve, the one I knew
long ago, or someone new?
And do any of them notice
my empty driveway
every Monday night, and do any
of our patterns matter?
In a Texas museum we sat
and watched an filmmaker’s
vision of city highrises
flickering off and on as days
and nights passed in a hurry.
And now I remember how important
the mission of that one ant
my young son and I watched,
its mandibles clamped tight
with the sail of a green blade
of grass, and how he crossed
and re-crossed the dirt path,
wandered in circles
through forests of dry weeds,
and though we long-watched,
he never found (or did he ever?)
his way home with his treasure.


Carol Hamilton has recent publications In Louisiana Review, Tribeca Poetry Review, Boston Literary Review, Iodine Poetry Review, Bluestem, I-70 Review, U.S.1 Worksheet, Colere, Lilliput, Flint Hills Review, Hubbub, Blue Unicorn, Sow's Ear Poetry, District Lit, Haight Ashbury Poetry Journal, Texas Poetry Calendar and others. She has published 17 books: children's novels, legends and poetry, the latest being Such Deaths. She is a former poet laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize.