The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.
Pearl Avenue runs past the high-school lot,
Bends with the trolley tracks, and stops, cut off
Before it has a chance to go two blocks,
At Colonel McComsky Plaza. Berth's Garage
Those dutiful dogtrots down airport corridors
while gnawing at a Dunkin' Donuts cruller,
those hotel rooms where the TV remote
Our last connection with the mythic.
My mother remembers the day as a girl
she jumped across a little spruce
They will not be the same next time. The sayings
so cute, just slightly off, will be corrected.
Their eyes will be more skeptical, plugged in
She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
There was an old poop from Poughkeepsie,
Who tended, at night, to be tipsy.
Black queen on the red king,
the seven on the black
eight, eight goes on the nine, bring
the nine on over, place
'Back from vacation', the barber announces,
or the postman, or the girl at the drugstore, now tan.
They are amazed to find the workaday world