Holidays of the Central Valley Suburbs
Wearing, days on days,
These houses, now become exhibits,
Were never really new.
The years of potholed driveways,
Cracked pavement, a toppled fence,
And the bald tires on a car kept running
By visiting strangers,
Connections for a cousin,
From some other house unseen,
But always showing up
Just around meal time,
When a visiting uncle,
Now living out there,
Just happened to stop by.
The old garage in the backyard,
That decisionless haunt
Of misshapen mornings strewn about
Turning, in some methodical, timed way
To frustrated, wrenching afternoons,
And, finally, the long soft evenings,
If the drugs don’t turn weak
All at once,
Spooled backwards, knotted, hungry
Kids would throw walnuts at passing cars.
And regret the open window
Yet appreciating the relief
Of an angry knock:
A chance at never again.
They wanted to pin us to the growth trajectory,
Instead of the stagnant complacency
Where we could just languish,
In the short, dark days.
In the the dim, grey lights,
Between holidays always celebrated,