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Lost belongings

After a long walk to Louisiana, I settled on staying in Shreveport, put my belongings into storage and walked into town, going to work in a garage on a gray street.

I found out my co-workers didn’t like Yankees and always joked about me behind my back or made rude comments when I asked questions. Finally I had to get Sicilian with the boss, getting in his face all cold, eyes locking eyes, speaking in sotto voce menace: Let’s get something straight right now.

I discovered the woman at the front desk wasn’t a receptionist—she was a judge. I thought it would be a good idea to wash her car—a white Porsche—but when I went to rinse away the bubbles, a neighbor came running accusingly from across the street, complaining of drought and diminishing wells.

I wanted to retrieve my belongings but couldn’t find the street where I'd stored them. I knew it was on the edge of town. I knew it ran parallel to a river, but I had no idea how to get back there, seeing as how I stopped there on my way into town, when I didn’t know my bearings, didn’t know any landmarks.

I looked at the map, but the street name appeared and then faded like frost in sun. I also looked on the edge of the map, which was as thick and brown as a bread crust, but didn’t find the street there either. I had a hunch I’d be able to re-trace my steps, but I got lost at the first intersection with a traffic signal.

Finally, I got tired of off-putting Southerners. It was time to leave town, but for where? I had no work, no prospects for employment. Mississippi and Tennessee didn’t seem much different from Louisiana, considering I was from New York, a Yankee and all that, so I decided to try North Carolina, threw on my backpack and began walking again.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Rich yet unforced images. Structure which defies structure. Metaphors meaning nothing or everything.

If this is your work then a silky blue ribbon of approval is all yours. Not that my awards matter.
Mar. 2nd, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'll take the award.
Mar. 2nd, 2010 09:51 pm (UTC)
I like it. It sounds loose, unplanned, which fits the theme. I always have trouble matching my style to my content. This is my favorite line: "I discovered the woman at the front desk
Wasn’t a receptionist—she was a judge." Aren't they all? Well done.
Mar. 2nd, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Lizz. "Unplanned" is certainly the right word.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
This reads like a dream.

Rather than rewrite that sentence, I'll just add that I mean that both ways.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
Thanks, Jamie. I sat down and it just kind of fell out.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
I love the whole thing, but the image of "getting Sicilian" with him will stick in my head.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 04:58 am (UTC)
Thanks! That's the best I can do, leave little pieces behind.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
Got Sicilian? Sounds serious. I like it!
Mar. 3rd, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
And you know exactly what I mean.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
I agree with vivitalia: it feels perfectly unplanned. I just love the natural, wandering sort of rhythm.

And I really appreciate the sound of the first stanza especially, all that alliteration: "long walk to Louisiana", "settled on staying", "going to work at a garage on a gray street". Nice.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sara. I sat down at the computer and it literally wrote itself; I didn't have to stop and think about where it was going. The alliteration is purely accidental too.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
Well, keep the "purely accidental," self-composing poetry coming! :)
Mar. 4th, 2010 09:38 am (UTC)
Cool poem. I can hear it as a Tom Waits lyric. For a minute, I was looking for the author before I realized it's an original. Well done.

"I discovered the woman at the front desk wasn't a receptionist. She was a judge. I thought it would be a good idea to wash her car--a white Porsche." My favorite, along with the "sotto voce menace."
Mar. 4th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Sarah. Very kind of you to mention me in the same sentence as Tom Waits.
Mar. 4th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
The "get Sicilian" comment reminds me of our discussion about how to handle students :) As usual, your work makes me smile.
Mar. 4th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Danielle. Any day I can get someone to smile or laugh is a good day.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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