Jan/Feb 2022  •   Poetry

The Old Poet's Soliloquy

by Peter Bridges

The Old Poet's Soliloquy

Once, green sixteen,
I laid down homework and walked out
into an Illinois spring night,
down Eighth Street while the April wind
blew thin gray clouds across the moon
and houses loomed across big yards
and the globes of great old elms
watched dim and silent,
noble guards, slow dying in their age.

A fast freight now came rushing through our town,
its horn announcing proudly
it was bound to unknown prairies,
to mountains still mysterious to me.

Then all was still. I gloried in that night.
I skipped, and ran, and stopped
and raised my arms to God
while the south wind called the world to life.

I thought of Frost and Yeats:
I would be an impractical poet
In Kerry by the sea, else lonely in Vermont
composing sweet dactyls and stern iambs.

Good and dire decades passed.
I am still walking down that street.