Marc J. Straus 


The sky a July coconut haze, 
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 

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