We’re going to the country for good
I told my kindergarten teacher.
It was 1929. I wasn’t thinking forever–
for goodmeant the country was a good
place, life there would be good.
I couldn’t know my father would take
a bus, a train and a ferry to work
leaving in the dark, coming home
in the dark, chain-smoking his way
to a heart attack, or that my mother
in the darkness of another winter
would die of pneumonia. The day
we moved to the country
my mother played Fox and Geese
with my brother and me. We lay down
and made angel wings with our arms.
We danced in a circle to keep warm.
She played with us all day in the snow
and no one could have told me it wasn’t for good.
—from Rattle #26, Winter 2006
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