Marc J. Straus
The sky a July coconut haze,
IN THE 25TH YEAR OF MY GRANDMOTHER'S DEATH
the blue and white enamel sign:
49th Street and 14th Avenue.
The two-family brick house, one in
from the northeast corner,
is a small religious school now.
Its concrete stoop, four steps,
(I would have guessed six), is painted over
yellow too many times, and the chink
in the balustrade to the left
against which I fell, is sanded smooth.
My memory is frozen into still frames.
In one, I hesitate at the top step
on my new red tricycle. In another,
a cold rag is wrapped around my wrist.
A pee-green cotton housedress
with small white flowers billows like a tent.
Steam lifts off the clear soup filling
a broad maroon bowl. A thin stick of celery.
Two carrot chips. A chicken foot
with puckered skin and three large toes.
Copyright 2000, Marc J. Straus
Marc J. Straus's poetry collections are One Word (1994,
TriQuarterly Books) and Symmetry ( March, 2000 by the same). A third
collection, The Bridge, will have its premier stage performance
at State University of New York at Purchase in April, 2000. He has recently
published in Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and The
Journal of the American Medical Association. He is an oncologist practicing
in White Plains, NY.
Switched-on Gutenberg/Vol. 4, No. 2