Away to School
by Thomas Park

The previous summer, had grown moody
Tired of routine, brashly
Exhausted of family

Total escape was the program
Call home only once every while

To college

On the waters of Lake Michigan
With lakefill, temperate
Rounded stones on sloped hill

Peaceful oasis, North of city
Where coffee, dancing, women
Were nightly features

Oh, and to study, my connection
To life before, by day
Submit to class, evening — mild homework

By this path, become one’s own

Professor of Romantic Poetry
Young, brunette, attractive
Taught works by Wordsworth

Where child of parents, farm-hand
Moved to city, merged with populace
Broke connections

My parents, just a half-day drive away
Somewhow no closer then than Polaris itself

Their home and dorm illuminated after sunset
By pale and twinkling light of distant orbs

IMAGE: The well-known arch at one entry of the Northwestern University campus, Evanston, Illinois. Image treated by Thomas Park.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a poem that reflects my experience of moving from St. Louis, Missouri, to Evanston, Illinois, back in 1989, in order to attend Northwestern University. I wanted to reflect the positive and negative aspects of the move.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Park is a musician, painter, video artist, writer, and poet living in South Saint Louis with his wife and two cats. He is a big fan of poet Philip Levine. He misses college a lot, and wishes he could go back, in spite of the necessary homework.