Pin It

Poem: From A Place 

Where are you from?
The white space labeled address demands
desperate for the finite of definition
the limitation of small scrawled numbers
filling, fixating.
I am from some place, some geography,
some street, some demography.
I am from archeology, from the study of antiquity
where layers of soil unfold
like the corners of a paper fortune-teller
revealing scrapers and spear throwers—
held in my muddied hands
as though I crafted, I shaped,
but it is the art of discovery.

Where are you from?
I’m asked—
I am from history, from a “safe harbor”
or is it a “reed-covered lodge”?
From names long forgotten:
colli eminente, San Germano,
San Antonio, Sanatatea.
From 1609 when Hudson found the Hudson,
like a troublesome child wild with play—
a game of hide-and-seek this river lost.

Where are you from?
I’m asked—
meaning, Who are you?
The explorer of the unknown?
The settler of the unfound?
The fixated.


Or like the Hudson,
with the back and forth tumbles of her tide
an arm grasping the sea
and a mouth holding her words deep, secret in her throat,
volatile and shifty—
Nothing settles here.

Speaking of...

  • Greg Brown at Towne Crier
  • Greg Brown at Towne Crier

    Greg Brown performs at the Towne Crier in Beacon on January 13.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Modfest at Vassar College
  • Modfest at Vassar College

    Don't miss Vassar's Modfest running from January 26 through February 5.
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • Poem: Deserted Garden

    A poem by 8 year old following a writing prompt: “Your soil is only rocks and glass...”
    • Jan 1, 2017
  • More »
  • A poem by Colleen Gibbons-Brown.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Poem: Symposium

    A poem by Stephanie Ann Slepian.
    • Jan 1, 2016
  • The Visitor

    • Jun 1, 2015

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Latest in Poetry

Hudson Valley Tweets