Sunday, November 24, 2013

Seann's Way (À la recherche du frankfurters perdu )

Back in Allentown on my yearly visit, 
I leave my parents' home on foot
to make my pilgrimage to Yocco's Hot Dogs, 
where the hot dog king himself awaits 
with his angry smirk, his trident piercing 
a steaming frankfurter. 
The suburbs are treacherous; 
there is no sidewalk for a long stretch
and the shoulder is covered with piles of leaves.
I stub my toe on a hidden curb
and go down on one knee, tearing my corduroys.
I finally cross into the safety of the park,
retracing the path I used to walk my high school
sweetheart home by, pass the gingko beneath which 
I had my first kiss. The tree still stands,
shedding yellow leaves onto the wet grass. 
It was just this time of year.
I skirt the pond where we fed the ducks as kids.
Instead of crowding close, the waterfowl
now waddle away from me, chuckling;
I'm puzzled until I notice the signs
reading $600 fine for feeding them.
I press my palm against the gnarled bark
of the hundred-year-old Arthur Rackham willows
that a few days later will become uprooted 
by a rare inland hurricane. I cross the street 
to enter my destination, order
the same thing I always do
two onion chili dogs, small order of pierogies.
Instead of the taste showing me the way
to a meandering path of memories, I've 
done it backwards, taking that nostalgic route
to arrive here, at this first glorious bite,
giving thanks for the few beautiful things
too stupid or stubborn, too lazy 
to be bothered to change.

No comments:

Post a Comment