On First Looking into Sexton’s Cummiskey Alley
by Dana Stabenow
He writes of the bend toward Asia from a
Yankee mill town on the bend of a river
Where dropped r’s leave one dead to rights and
Hearts are stolen without leaving bruises.
Here on the bend, not a mill town but a
Fish town girl, my mother caught the fish his
Mother boxed as fish sticks. Mirabile
Dictu, he is a poet, I a scribe.
Who was Dickens to say we are of the
Humbler class? My ass.
A sonnet for the catcher is the best
Defense against what’s coming at us next
Right over the plate. Heaven? Nothing? Hell?
We persist in living and in writing well.
Note: As advertised above, I wrote this after reading Tom’s new collection. He says his favorite is “Home Room.” Mine is “Catcher.” I freely plagiarized lines and images he uses in his poems, and the line about Dickens was inspired by the epigram at the beginning of his book.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.