Apr/May 2001  •   Poetry

Street Scene

by John Hanson

Street Scene

Between my sheets of paper
wander words with no places,
thoughts of being and being lost,
an Easter walk filled with death
when the church stones glow with letters
spelling strange warnings
and the uncertain procession falters
along now unfamiliar streets.

Sleeping between these white sheets,
during a visit from my dead father
I see his strangely young face
with slicked black hair.
Without a trace of pain or anger,
He asks me not to hate but to finish
my breakfast. His now firm steps guide
me beside him along a steaming cafeteria line
filled with hazy white crockery that disappears
and moist faces vanishing in the mist.

Driving around and around the downtown,
in the wet fog and dirty snow,
missing my exit, so deeply missing it
inside me and around me.
As I circle and circle the salted, chalky streets
I try to become calm until finally the streets
make sense and I am aimed home once again,
having dreamed my father and eaten
the empty breakfast of being lost.