Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Disappearing Islands, Coast To Coast

[on hearing overnight on the Coast to Coast radio show a segment on disappearing islands]

there really are lands that appear, then disappear,
no longer on the maps;
the shops with the charming bouquets

no longer open at your time of day: that
suddenly, gone from the block.
and you rub your eyes and you glance back

with a tick and a tock
and there the flower shop is again;
the silver bell over the door, the violets...

or you're afraid and in the shade of
your mother's skirts looking out at a world
of larger people 

and nibbling at your gingerbread

and then you're grown
all on your own with all the books left to be read
and where is the shade or the summer trees

you knew back then
the why or when
the soda machine at camp

with the orange pop, the grape
was a first taste of freedom

the muddy river never green with trees.
and where are these the way you felt
and would you tire

to find yourself back
in the shire, the veldt
with the Christmas pudding

whipped creamed sips of hot cocoa
and your Grandmother's laugh
at your Grandfather's oft repeated joke

and you're in their vernacular
it's spectacular
you all go out from the porch

with your ice cream in the yard
and the dog dances for scraps
and the pines whisper overhead

this is where you begin
no time to nap
on the National Geographic

foldout map
hold onto it

this time
angels chime
there's thunder

grandmother says
get away from the windows, the doors,
running water and the piano.

but none disclose
there's more to the storms
than anyone knows

on a radio show
the news broke into your dreams:

mysterious islands
keep going under.

mary angela douglas 23 march 2016