Thursday, May 1, 2008

Not the Beach Haven Times, 1968, but it could have been.

Powell River News
Aug. 5, 1965

We stare out from the yellowed clipping
with its scholarship announcements, our faces serious,
hair carefully arranged. College-bound,
the article brags, though a few of the girls
decided to marry instead, and some of the boys
went straight to work at the paper mill.

The local real estate ads
are on the other side:
fixer-uppers and cottages by the sea,
spare bedrooms and mother-in-law units,
new roofs, deep wells,
must be seen to be believed,
so affordable I am more amazed
at what I might own,
—if I could slip back in time—
than what I might say to the girl in the picture,
the one who was me.

I know she had no use
for houses. She was going to travel the world,
be the next Emily Dickinson,
go looking for Heathcliff.

The stiff faces of my graduating class
are keeping their secrets,
and those houses
where we might have awakened
to the sound of a fresh westerly wind
banging the screen door,
are long since sold,
and maybe sold again.

But holding this bit of paper in my hands
I wonder if the tide is lapping
at the steps of those cottages now,
or if the Canada geese passing over each fall
still leave a hole in the air
that fills up with our longing

Barbara Bloom, The Hummingbird Press, 2007
Poetry of Barbara Bloom

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