my prequel meanders
with you / my mother’s river

one of those Booth babies
born a mile south
of your Storrow Lagoon
the Salvation Army hospital
long gone

three miles south
of where you do a 180 on yourself
I become a Chickering School kid
who would try to fish in Trout Brook
without any bait

I would stumble upon a patch of pine trees
wander into the cool edge of shadows
to establish outsider status
are we home for good this time
loving grandparents five miles away

my father would begin
his 30-year running addiction
on these roads / I would get lost
trying to follow him
without knowing how

my prequel meanders

the Boston Marathon begins
at your head / ends
near your mouth / slow moving
you take the 80-mile scenic route
how could I know

I might qualify some day
but never reach Main Street

I would map a world
of make believe
in slate tiles
announcing the foyer
inside a house with black shutters

where brown grout joints
match your waters / all that gray before
it turns blue / the salt separated
from the fresh
by a century of engineering

nowhere near the powder blue
my mother chose
when she reupholstered
the used furniture
she bought at the Dover Country Store

where my sisters and I would buy
Pixy Stix and SweeTarts
to fuel dance performances
staged on the fireplace mantel
ah sugar / ah honey honey

stone bridges arching across you
and more stone holding back a hillside
where I learned not to
pluck pink lady slippers
for fear of landing in prison

I would drain the bitter
from rock glasses
collected on the kitchen counter
during and after another one
of my parents’ late-sixties cocktail parties

my prequel meanders
away from you

to another temporary scene
earmarked in this road atlas
of perforated maps
I just might tear you out and keep you
hidden in the pocket

of that party dress
my mother made
for my big sister’s birthday trip
to ride the swan boats
in Boston Public Garden

so close to you / my mother’s river
so far from the one I might claim
as my own

3 thoughts on “Quinobequin

    • Thanks so much. Trying to write a series of poems about the rivers I have lived near and interweaving the personal with the history of the place. Challenging. Have tackled 4 1/2 out of 14 rivers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a great idea. Keep meandering. Keep burbling over rocks and slapping against banks and sluicing into blue and raising silt and slowing down and taking corners in a way that only rivers take corners.

        Liked by 1 person

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