Side Street

Side Street

I would to like to pause
and consider from a curb-seat
this quiet pond of a neighborhood
these small square houses comfortably contemplating
kaffeklatch mornings.

Young mothers with chin-length hair
offering fresh white sheets to the surburban sun
weekly ritual carried out with
backyard clothespins.

Rooms of midday sunlight resting
on slatted wooden floors and flowered wallpaper
threading across faultless faces
of sleeping children.
Their muted sleep song
reaches to me
from behind drowsy organdy curtains.

Tricycles, momentarily still, languish
in grassy front yards
lullaby sailboats waiting for the next bout
of child-wind.

A dull-eyed tabby placidly washes her face,
peers curiously from her polished front window
at the street moving past
at me moving past . . .
for I must move on.

There is no time to pause
and consider
these small square houses
speaking to me of my velvet past
and my veiled future.

: :

I wrote this poem in 1974, in my first creative writing class at the junior college. It was full of fancy indents that don’t translate to this page, and I would love to revise it, but I will leave it be. It gives me a snapshot of what I was thinking of then, my “veiled future” which did arrive and which I am living in still.