Stamps: Kirsten Andersen06/07/2009
By Kirsten Andersen
I’d forgotten the black lawns
the long winters with no snow
the buckled concrete
along the roads this far removed
from the marina, running along
the land between the prison
and the mall, where my walk home
from the middle school was straight
across the avenue, exposed
to the cries of the high school boys
who were speeding in their cars.
I kept my short bangs curled
and lifted like a cloud, wore a choral jacket
dragged a book pack, and spun to face the girls
who broke a sandbag on my back.
The city pool was an empty bowl
of old cannon balls and belly flops
facing the lot where I went to meet
my father on his break, leaning
against his car door and looking at his watch.
The parking lot was full of men
at four o’clock, the backdrop
made of metal parts, pieced into submarines
for purchase by the navy. I saw my father
take a sip from a paper cup of coffee
lift my house key in the air, watch me smile.
Kirsten Andersen lives in Brooklyn. She was raised in Rhode Island.
“Rhode Island” is part of the Stamps project. Click here to learn more >>
The poem was first published in the Notre Dame Review (Summer/Fall 2008).