From One Place To Another, by John Grey

From One Place To Another
by John Grey

How did I ever come by this sense of dread
when all I’m doing is moving from
one town to the next?
Why does everyone I drive by
seem so content in these places where they live,
even when they obviously rent.
Why do they all look as if they’ve been
there forever, as if their bones, their skin,
are just part of the house’s carapace
along with the windows and the shingles
and the shutters.

Why is my heart pumping
like a dozen of these hearts?
I look in the eyes
of a woman in a garden.
They are blue and broad
and making a stand there.
An army of moving vans
would not budge her from her roses.

So why do I move so easily
through the streets?
Why, even when I’m driving,
does it feel as if the wind is blowing me?
I feel like a traitor
to that first house we ever bought.
If this neighborhood had its way,
it’d line me up against a white-paneled fence
and shoot me.

Miles ahead of me, another house awaits,
its family of ten years
on a journey as weird, incomprehensible as mine.
We may even cross each other’s paths,
a look of fear, of understanding,
flashing between us.
They may be heading for a house
sold cheaply because the last
of its occupants passed on.
It makes me think of the dead
and the reluctant moving they must do.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sin Fronteras, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Blueline, Willard and Maple and Red Coyote.

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