Friday, December 27, 2013

The Place Poem


When I was given an assignment to write a “place poem” in November, I thought it would be an easy poem to write.  It turned out to be the most difficult.  I thought about all the places I’ve visited: Rome, Berlin, Paris (sort of – which is yet another story). 

I thought too, of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the Green Mountains in Vermont and of one of my very favorite places on earth – the Blue Ridge Mountains from where I looked down through the clouds at the breathtakingly beautiful Shenandoah Valley.  But no place seemed quite right for this assignment until I thought of the place I return to year after year.  Close to home, it is somewhere along the

Jersey Shore 

 

I’ve come here every summer
since I was a child
to take  in a breath of salty air
at the base of the Ninth Street bridge.

I’ve come here every summer
to salute the Ferris wheels
that stand like sentinels
against the rising tide of my life. 

I’ve come to remember the hootenannies
I sang to in ‘63, the boy I met
and might have married,
the Frisbees I tossed, but never caught.

I come to soak up the sun,
to walk the boards,
eat lunch at Chatterbox
and for yet another ornament to decorate my tree.

I come here as often as possible
to gaze upon the sea
until, at last, it diminishes me 
and all the things I come here to forget.