Spring 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1997 |

Apology

When I decided to move North one foot planted its shoe firmly in dirt like a stubborn father and asked for further direction, forward not being a place it understood. A tamer of mules, I quickly convinced my reticent body to accept everything. My head arrived first, stiff-tongued, anxious to taste salt mines, hungry for newspaper promises wrapped around day-old bread. There was reason to believe my first child would be able to read them, that I would earn the fried eggs of the wealthy, that the Lincoln Brigade would be my neighbors, guest speakers at the union local. The meal was created from everything, a generation dependent on cold milk and television, yearning for the memorabilia of hunger: peasant soup with meat added, Spanish olives from a gourmet shop in Chelsea, a ration of bread whenever desired. Money to pour out of bottles and into the battle scenes engraved on a marble table have bought me a barely noticed hollow in a hospital bed, a legacy spoken by a forgetful priest a

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