IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT YOU DIDN'T RUN OFF

In spite of the fact the you didn't run off
and join the circus and leave your town
behind the ball diamonds and bicycles
and you didn't join the Navy or the

Merchant Marine and sail across the
frozen blue of the North Atlantic dodging
icebergs or into a lagoon beneath a volcano
craggy and green and there were no

forays into the alleys of  Paris drinking
espresso in the pale light of Saturday
morning and there were no trench coat
assignations in San Francisco or bayou

cloud afternoons with New Orleans curtains
blowing into the room gauzy white with river
wind and there were no Vermont midnights
or mornings off the coast of Maine while

fog rolled in with the low tide and a faint
moon hung on the horizon there have been
none of these things only dishes and driving
and babies and school and life in a town you

never left but where the circus did come
eventually and the bicycles and trains made
their own Paris and London and the same
moon hung over New Orleans and the

same time hung over all the same time was
spent here as there the same light here as
there and for now the here and there and
now and then are one and that is what today

is what this morning brings these dishes
freshly washed drying beneath the blowing
curtains a driveway stretching off into the
corn all that bright green rising in waves

stretching beneath the blue with tassels
rustling and rattling in the breeze clouds
sailing slowly above all this quiet all this
time and silence turning in the afternoon


Stephen Newton
TAR
STEPHEN NEWTON is Assistant Professor of English at William Paterson University
in Wayne, New Jersey, where he also directs the Writing Center. In his spare time he likes to sit in on electric guitar with friends playing in bars in the southern Adirondacks/Lake George/ Saratoga Springs area, and many years ago he was a night-shift janitor at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville,Tennessee. On his office wall at the university he has postcards of Tom Waits, Allen Ginsberg, James Joyce, Fernando Pessoa, Willam Burroughs, Chet Baker, Billy Holiday, Jack Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, the Dalai Lama, Homer Simpson, and Elvis. Stephen Newton has had poetry and prose published in Downtown Brooklyn: A Journal of Writing, College English Notes, Bwe: Basic Writing e-Journal, and has work forthcoming in The Penwood Review and The English Record.