roughian

April 9, 2007 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

From One Place

The sailor approached me one day,
he said he’d been at sea for weeks
and was never in one port for more than a few days.
This was his sixth or seventh stop,
the Port calls just seemed to bleed together.
He asked if I would show him around town,
after all, I’d been told he was coming weeks earlier
when his sister sent me a letter.
Her brother was coming to my town,
a sailor on a merchant ship.
If I could put him up for a day,
he’d surely love to see something
other than the bowels of that boat.
It was the last letter I’d get from her.
After months of exchanging letters,
maybe it’d even been a year,
there’d been a month without a note exchanged,
that there was nothing that the other needed to know.
We’d only started writing when I’d come here,
leaving behind the cobblestone streets of the city.
We’d grown close fast,
spending three nights in May
as I prepared a bag for the summer move,
which became a year.
We talked about why I’d chosen to leave,
the advantages and disadvantages.
I told her I was leaving to escape the people,
the congestion and anonymity.
I’d lived there fifteen years after all,
having moved there from back East.
I was from the Coast there,
a town that was dominated by its shoreline.
Growing up there,
it all felt so much like where I’d come,
and that first escape from urban life
hadn’t even happened at all,
I’d only told myself.
So when I had a visitor that one afternoon,
the woman’s brother, the sailor,
I knew it was time to leave.

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Been a long time trying to get it back

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