The Abandoned City
by Thomas O’Connell
The city has been deserted, next
Year’s phonebook will not include
Our last name, nor will any mailbox.
There must be some obscure relative
Remaining in a two-family house
Somewhere, but I could not tell you
Who, or where they buy their groceries,
Which weatherman they quote. We will no longer
Stand at a bar-b-q in somebody’s driveway, cousins
Shooting baskets into a frayed net
Hung over the oil stains left
By a car, purchased from a common grandmother.
I will not think of the local parish
Until retrieving a prayer card
Tucked in a pocket of some dark
Coat I seldom wear.
SOURCE: Originally published at Red Eft Review, November 11, 2015.
PHOTO: “We’ve Moved,” greeting card, available at zazzle.com.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: There was a time when my wife & I moved quite a bit- sometimes locally, sometimes distant. Each move seemed to bring up memories of previous moves, the hopes of a new place and the melancholy of letting other things go. The process of relocating is cumulative – forcing you to face the accumulation of things, but also routines – and accepting that you have to part with some of both.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas O’Connell is a librarian living on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, where he happens to be the 2015-2016 poet laureate. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in Elm Leaves Journal, Caketrain, Jellyfish Review, Otoliths, and The Los Angeles Review, as well as other print and online journals.