>Between Apple Jack’s and Alexander’s Grave

>

On my way to see the lions at the library last spring, I got lost somewhere between Apple Jack’s and Alexander’s grave. A map from the past might have helped.  ( I never did get to the library.)

Somewhere in Manhattan

He lets time happen when he writes
the tree line of an aspen grove.
I study him, this man in derby clothes
who walks Manhattan
to kneel at Alexander’s grave
beside a prairie girl with no lantern.
She finds stories packed in sawdust
and wood chips saved in a whiskey keg
layered with apple jacks and chocolate pound cake.
He breathes what passes. Words
settle into years.

*   *  *

The poem is mine, but the map is an Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 / by I. N. Phelps Stokes.  If you can zoom in, do! You might get as caught up in the steep-roofed houses as I did. If you can’t zoom in, go to the library I went to and find maps to help you find your own way to whenever or wherever.

The New York Public Library:  http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/index.cfm.

By the way, the library sells the prints from their gallery —in case you want to buy a scroll, hide it in your backpack and go exploring backwards into time. Let me know if you do! We could meet up somewhere and get lost together.

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About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit and YB Poetry Journal. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

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