>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.


About redmitten

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

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