Richard Foerster. River Road.

20 Nov

RIVER ROAD

Let’s take the scenic route, he’d sometimes say
on our drives back to my house from Ogunquit
before he’d leave for home. Spur-of-the-moment,
or so it seemed, his impulses forced me to break hard
and swerve well short of our usual turn on Rte. 1A.

Instantly, the mortised angles of our days
would loosen as I shifted to take the curves
past the corner baker’s shop. The road
would open then like a mother’s oven door and spill
a brief aroma apple-warm across the asphalt.

One time at the bend where the Baptist church
perches on its knoll, he asked, as if insisting,
Wouldn’t you love to live on this road?
The bell tower’s lead-white caught the sun
and cast a blinding glare upon us.

At the opposite curb, the old colonial
we admired, with its weathered shakes,
squatted like a hen half-hidden in shadows
among bee-balm and a blare of orange lilies.
Yes, I admitted, past the graveyard and the bridge

where the estuary begins to broaden
toward a glimpse of lighthouse and the sea.
The blacktop shimmered that day before us,
itself a flow of water ending at the shore.
We’ll build a home here when I’m free.

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