Printer Friendly

Entire dilemma.

I wish you had knocked on my door today, because I've realized I've had the entire dilemma upside down. It will not seem important to you, but you see, it has not been my parents who have made me lonely, deeply deeply cold, over many years and bridges, it was never them at all. All this time I thought so, but I've had the entire dilemma upside down. It will not seem important to you, which is why you did not knock, but it has been the town I was born in, town my parents remained in, town I returned to like a dead bird still flying in search of a dead bell, a soundless one the town likes to ring coldly out into the sky at five o'clock or six o'clock or whenever one of the important persons wants someone less important to know they are counting money so they ring the bell--it is the town which has made me sick all these, a town! And it made my parents sick, and it made my brothers sick, and it made my sisters sick, perhaps my sisters sickest of all--for they were always the ones who were told you have nothing to be sick about, stick around and see. They saw! Their poor eyes hardened like coins on a shelf, and my relatives walked into our house to count these coins, and slowly but surely they took my sisters apart, my little sisters! And my brothers and I have returned and returned--because my father was there, because my mother was there, and she is still and is now very sick indeed and old, and yet we never knew we had the entire dilemma upside down. It will not seem important to you, but you see it has been the town all these years. It was not the roads we loved, it was not the houses, --we actually hated the houses but we could not tell we hated the roads there but we walked upon them like ghosts of deep habit, searching for passports, illegal passports, which would place us in another country where someone is important for you, knocks at your door, and whispers get out, get out, long before you have heard the rivers in the words, the words which come close, only to stray, only to judge you like the person you are not, like the person on the top of a bell, being told now, now, come down, come down from your bell you little dead bird. It is five or six o'clock. The blackbird is sewing a song for you to wear. A heavy song. All the heavier, for it is a song you will always wear, and wear it upside down. It has been the town I was born in. It has made me sick. It has killed people, over and over. Everyone tells everyone you are nothing in my town, and it is meant. I wish you had knocked on my door today, because I've realized I've had the entire dilemma upside down.
COPYRIGHT 1993 World Poetry, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Burkard, Michael
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
Words:509
Previous Article:My father's neck.
Next Article:On the footfalls' side.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters