Some people have asked me on FB for some previews of Notes from the Nineties. It’s difficult to prepare excerpts from short stories (which are already short). So while I’m thinking of what’s appropriate as a teaser, here’s another poem from the volume. It appears right after the story “Boys Will be Boys” together with the poem “Grandmother.”
Summers of my Upstate youth were spent
in the family station wagon, the six of us, or was it seven,
traveling to the great St. Lawrence
Seaway of a thousand islands.
The first time we stayed one night at Mosquito Heaven,
sleepless in a brown canvas tent,
and four nights on the biggest island—
half in the US,
I learned how to gut a fish, how to swim,
how to roll up a sleeping bag,
and where to buy fireworks—
I mean sparklers.
On my 12th birthday, I got a wallet,
put in a year’s allowance,
then when I forgot it in the campsite bathroom,
got advice in return the next morning—
“I told you so.”
Looking back, it makes sense
to me now
that I hate dressing.