I have absolutely no idea what brought this on. When I showed it to my analyst, she got even more quiet than usual.  Yesterday, I got a card from her announcing that she was retiring and moving “somewhere else.”  She’s only 35. 


The five cobbled

roads that lead

into the town

square were laid

down more than

200 years ago. 

A plaque stands

in stone at

its very center.

It has suffered

from hard and

giveless winters,

the sweat and stew

of short summers

and the caustic

of those thousands

that have read  it

with their fingers.

I can recite

the names of 27

who founded this

small town, where

five hay paths

converged. They

had a mind for

joyful commerce

and a full life.

A host of people

come visit us

on Independence

day;  for the story

of its founding,

is as old as

the nation’s,

and my leaned

recitation is

tolled as would

a drum be,

and offered up

before we scar

the sky and swim

in the scent

of the bombs.

After, and

in the dead of

dead of night, I                                          

tell a tale around

the fire. A tale of

the sixth path,  a

rootless road to hell,

and of the 28th

founder, who must

reside there.  A 28th

name, scratched

urgently from the

copper plaque, be-

fore it greened to

age.  I tell the

visitor and the

resident alike of

a future built

on promises unkept,

and of the recoming

of the sixth path,

and of the founder

whose name we

do not mention,

in the night.

The tale I tell,

 and the joy with

which I tell it,

scares the children

straight and chills

the cold and aged,

‘til each and every

hunches deep in a thin

blanket and wails in

longing  for the dawn.

Come visit me.

I tell my tale

each year. I

have told it

for far longer

than the eldest

can remember.

They say the

telling is so real

that those who hear

it will swear

I am as ageless  

as the night

and was there,

at the founding.

Was there, they

say, was 28th

was that phantom

who rode the sixth

path, took the

oaths and laid

the cobbled stone.

Perhaps they’re right. 

Come visit me.

Come hear my tale.

Come quickly on the night.

This entry was posted in Humor, poetry, sleepless in state college and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s