Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Photo:  The difficult journey.     David Graham

Continuing our feature on Paula Sergi today. . . .


I want it to be night,
to fold myself in that navy wave
that overtakes us. But if it can’t be that,
I’ll take a rainy afternoon in Portland,
the drizzle barely visible
to wool-clad natives while
I look for bookstores and tea shops,
content in my new hiking shoes.

And if this isn’t Portland,
let it be Madison circa ’78,
some bearded man making bread
in his rented kitchen while I knit
my first lopsided scarf, each stitch
an expression of how much I love
learning how to fall in love.

When Madison outgrows itself
I want San Francisco,
not as tourist but to camp
with a high school friend while
I look through want ads,
anything to let me stay
single and intrigued with
my inner karma, my solar plexus.

If California passes a law
that sends me away, 
or threatens to shake till
I leave, let me buy a van
in Missoula, take a class
in glass blowing, plant
potatoes till the earth
seems dull and tasteless,

then may I wander the back roads
of Alaska for a summer,
learning how to fish and skim
stones across the bay,
renew my vows to myself
and lose my way back home

so I never have to sit
alone in a mortgaged house
while my husband watches
the news in the other room,
my sons scattered across the globe

and me sitting in this small town
where everyone can see inside
our windows, the panes afraid
they’ll shatter in the glare.

--Paula Sergi

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