Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Busy Oak

Here is the street door to where you are not.
The red bricks remain--
together they make a wall, a building, 
The old Busy Oak restaurant and the apartments above it.

Here are the winter cars out in the street, the noisy buses
sending up dust and old leaves, none of them carrying you.
Here are the mailboxes, none of them yours,
no way to fold in a note; here are dark stairs leading up,
but they lead to curt strangers in your place.

I'm not sure I miss you, but I miss being young,
full of desire and hope, uncertainty and kind intentions.
I miss the way your walk made me feel to see it,
something like being drunk in church, naked and faith-struck.

Here is the place I lived to find, then found.
Here is the Busy Oak, turned realtor's office and recruitment center.
The places we love come and go, the young come and go,
it all passes and fades, but something brought me back here

Once more, today, to this place
and you.

_____

for the mini-challenge: people and places.

13 comments:

molly said...

This is so good.

angieinspired said...

Shay, I absolutely love it when poets explicitly point out what we should be looking at...here, the brick, the mailbox, the stair...seemingly important materials to ponder in your virtual tour down memory lane, yet they crumble in all meaningfulness when compared to the flesh and blood person you materialize for us in the end. I could absolutely fold into your vivid picture, as if i were the phantom note in that mailbox belonging to curt strangers.

brudberg said...

I like really how you have tied the aging of the narrator the changes, a realtor's office is like another wrinkle really... and there are things that we miss from being young (but other's that I rather forget)

Kim Russell said...

I love the way this poem starts by telling the reader that someone is no longer there and then paints a clear picture of the place. There is a strong feeling of disconnection and loss. I particularly love the lines:
'Here are the mailboxes, none of them yours,
no way to fold in a note; here are dark stairs leading up,
but they lead to curt strangers in your place' and
'I miss the way your walk made me feel to see it,
something like being drunk in church, naked and faith-struck'.
I have experience similar feelings.

Isadora Gruye said...

I love that you chose to describe a place through absence and by the changes over time. You did an especially great job of putting the reader front and center by that very solid first stanza. Here is a door, some brick, a building, a restaurant.....it gives the feel of booming out, like through a camera and lends some cinema to the overall work. Well done!!!!

hedgewitch said...

As always you blend melancholy and wisdom with just the right stirring of old memories and the sweet spice and bitterness they hold no matter how long they are kept in the bottle.To remember what was once there is maybe the last pleasure we have, other than reading a poem like this.

Sherry Marr said...

Oh this is beautiful, and I feel the remembering........the memory of the passions and dreams of youth, against the poignancy of where our emotions live now.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I agree with Joy - the melancholy is palpable. I admire how you shifted focus to growing old, and how it saddens a person to face up to inevitable change, to place, self and the people from the past who haunt us still.

Marian said...

This is great. So full of what-used-to-be and what could? But is not. Love it.

Jim said...

Very nice, Shay. An insight to the feelings and reminiscing of the one who stays and what the feelings are. Out of sight, out of mind works to some extent for the one who leaves but is of much less help for the one staying. (I left, my ex stayed, for a while. Then I came back for a school year with the kids while she was gone.)
..

rhymeswithbug.com said...

You have captured the feeling of melancholy that can overwhelm us when we return to the places of our youth

sreeja harikrishnan said...

ah, you have beautifully expressed the feeling....loved the opening lines!

Jennifer Wagner said...

This is gorgeous.