Poems of Place & Displacement

Water Street

out of sight and mind, he was just around
the corner like springtime or wind

those colder days were getting longer
little boys' shadows grown tall before dusk
the sun stretched itself out
on the long, thin line
between what was and what is
and darkness had a reprieve

and around the corner the wind whistled
a man whistled, a ditty, a jig
Irish-like, but softer around the edges
of his lips, falling
out of him
as if he had nowhere to go but the song

he could swear he'd been there
before, the bricks stacked
just the way they'd been back home
of course
they'd been lighter
not as dirty
but that wasn't their fault
more cars on this block now
and boys with paint cans

no one saw him standing in the whisper-cold
touching the walls
and whistling
the shadows too long
to be people now, but dark ivy creeping
up bricks
and twisting at his feet

Photo Credit:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Copyright 2007,  Melissa M. Lewis

Melissa M. Lewis is a graduate of the New England College MFA program. She lives in Portage, Michigan, with her husband. Her poems have previously appeared in the Albion Review.

<< Previous Contents Next >>