Searching for Symbols in a Town Without a River


I begin the day buying yogurt in a small
favorite grocery store. The clerk
a man of few pretenses was making jokes
about his wife, how they fight in bed.
Discovering the better stores in the community.
In a given day, isolated from friends,
I speak to few people. An old woman
asks me for directions to the post office
or I speak to a stranger over the phone about night work.

At home my every thought comes to the counterpoint of a dream:
a girl I love surprises me by knocking on the window.
I ply my arts all day alone.
After this silence like being hidden away in the woods
in a cabin, bored
but owing no member of society an explanation,
invitation to a party. A flow of wine and devilish drugs
and quickly I am making a fool of myself.

My new friends like me
but when they think about me at all,
they wonder.
                     Wandering home
through the midnight air, alone again,
free, admiring
the ghostly houses of my new neighbors
by new moonlight.


Copyright 1985 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.