all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Monday, June 02, 2008

and when she returned

and when she returned to the street she came from,
stopping courteously for the dogs and toddlers being herded
away from last night’s puddles, when she drove past the redwoods
holding court over the sweet Craftsmans and greeted her neighbor’s
green lawn, when she saw the plum tree’s spilled offerings on the road,
small maroon orbs dotting the gravel, when she watched the mailman
dip into his canvas bag for this neighborhood’s turn at the latest
Crate & Barrel catalogue, when she saw this picturesque town
bathed in the warm, lilac-scented glow of such comfort, she thought
of all the breezy afternoons she had spent here, how it once was
so simple to walk out the door and into the welcome arms of these suburbs,
how the plantings in her own yard - which she had helped purchase
and then lift into the earth to flourish – were, in fact, now flourishing,
and how, as much as she had tried to keep her own soul watered and fed,
it hadn’t quite succeeded here, in this pleasant bedroom community, where
it was easy to park and find a dentist, where she did not have to look far
for a good bike ride, where she could buy fleshy heirloom tomatoes
so perfect and red they made her want to cry, but where she was
without her luster, her bright heart, her stretch and stride, and where
she knew she couldn't stay, in spite of all these ripe gifts, that in order
to lift herself to the right soil, she would have to locate some other spot of earth,
to leave this placid scene, to find an address that gave her a new kind of serenity,
perhaps another life entirely, where she could, at last, through an open window,
recognize herself.

7 comments:

Emily said...

Oh my goodness, Maya ~ this is what I have been trying to articulate for my last year! Beautifully done.

Annie said...

Ahhh, Maya. You are SUCH an amazing poet. I just found you again through Andrea.

Dale said...

lovely. yes.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this can help me explain to others why, even though the house I recently bought in a respectable neighborhood is a nice place, it just doesn't FEEL right to me. It isn't that the house and property isn't as large and the neighborhood isn't as "upscale"; I was looking to downsize. I am two or three blocks from my previous home, but the feeling is so different -- not like home, and I don't think this house likes me (if that makes any sense). I'll probably give it some more time before making a decision.

Thanks again, Maya, for writing my feelings.

-g

Judi said...

Wonderful, beautiful, as always.
And, as always, what you write never fails but to touch the reader.

Di Mackey said...

Oh god, this is beautiful!

I love this so much. At first I thought you hadn't written in a while but it was that I had been busy and forgotten to call by.

I missed your poems.

Will you ever publish?
I would surely love to buy a copy.

harvey molloy said...

I like! I like! Wonderful.