Friday, February 10, 2017

On Locust Street

A parking lot, mostly empty spaces
punctuated by weeds, fenced
and locked,
a hollow, hollowed place

A plaque encased in concrete:
a house where a boy was born,
a house next to a girl’s school
so that the first sounds
he could remember were
the shouts of girls playing games

and more:
his sisters doted, for all he had
was sisters and all they did was

His attention focused elsewhere,
on grand plans and schemes of boys
and publishing a newspaper and
stealthily playing on the school grounds
until girls’ shouts, outraged this time,
blared from windows

and he heard them later,
always coming and going,
seeing them a Renaissance painting,
listening to the coming and going
in the fading afternoon.

Photograph: The block on Locust Street in St. Louis where T.S. Eliot’s boyhood home stood.

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