Another Early-June Poem for You


How big is the world?
Does it have a limit,
or go on and on?

Seven continents only?
Seven seems like a number
that just begins.

Let’s start with one of them,
the familiar, wide America,
criss-crossed primarily by highways,

individually numbered, and of varying widths
and drainages. Some swipe
at the pump, some still have no wifi.

Forty-eight continental states; we have got to
narrow this down, though the interstate
exchanges appear largely similar.

But no. That’s how big
the world is. Exxons have differing sounds,
and not everyone likes

the ambient dance music
in the same way. Kansans like it.
Nebraskans like it, too, yes—but not like Oklahomans like it.

So narrow it down, we must.
The Carolinas. How big?
Charleston has twenty-five years

of history at least. I can
attest to that myself, and books
books books reveal more: Rhett Butler, etc…

Eden, in Rockingham County, NC—
How big? Used to be two towns,
but now it’s big enough to be one.

People die there, and get sick,
and get visited by a Vietnamese priest I know,
and that’s really just the beginning,

because the Whistle Jacket Grill on
the Dan River has a history of young love,
going back two generations at least, and the water

just keeps rushing by in the riverbed,
never dries—the river, which itself
makes a tributary for another

which, yes, does empty eventually
into a serene bay. But we
have not reached any edge, my friends,

because the bay has
an eminently dramatic past, and the future
likewise promises some drama.

You could sail from here
up to New York Harbor,
like people I know have done (in a sloop).

And one year, of many,
it could be the Fourth of July.
Watching from the deck, fireworks light up

the Statue of Liberty, which came
from France, where they cook
eggs in more ways than I,

for one, can conceive—so, NO:
this does not constitute a limit, though
an individual egg does, indeed, have

a fixed volume, and matter is
neither created nor destroyed, they say,
but cracking an egg does

make things interesting. For breakfast,
that is, and we haven’t even
had our coffee yet.


2 thoughts on “Another Early-June Poem for You

  1. Father Mark,

    Actually, I’m curious: is the author a certain wacky-turned-collar-sort-of-guy from the middle of nowhere?

    Who knows where the Dan springs; but it flows through Danville, the scene of one of the more humorous encounters with THE LAW that I’ve experienced.

    With regards to Kansas & Nebraska: two years ago,I told someone from that area that until 2009 I’d been to all the contiguous-forty-eight except Michigan and Nebraska, and that I’d gone to Michigan in 2009 (a beautiful state in the West, along Lake Michigan); and that left only Nebraska. He asked, “Have you been to Kansas?” I replied, “Yes,” and he said, “Then don’t worry about it, it’s much the same, but more so.”

    With regards to geography and small towns: it’s much as it is with people: in the big picture, they’re nothing; up close they ARE the world.

    In God we trust.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s