Here’s a poem I wrote awhile ago. Never had an ending. Now I do.
A Farmer Lost in Time Square
A farmer and his family load up the sky-blue Chevy.
It’s 1975 and they’re heading straight east to NYC.
The farmer ties a wooden box to the roof with twine.
It’s filled with family keepsakes for his sister on Long Island.
Proud of the box and his paint job: silver and hand-lettered,
pronouncing, “The Meylors of Marcus.” His kids protest.
But I want people to know where we’re from, he explains.
They cross Iowa-Illinois-Indiana-Ohio-Pennsylvania-New Jersey.
Enter Lincoln Tunnel. Drop out the other end—upside down.
Manhattan-Brooklyn-Manhattan again. Macy’s. Time Square.
A New York cop gawks at the silver box, blows his whistle:
Yooz got balls, hayseed! But I’ll get yooz turned around.
He clears a parking spot and the family walks up Broadway.
I can’t tell which way’s North, the farmer says aloud to no one.
Time Square reeks of manure. No glitter. No Big Apple yet.
Trash piled high as an elephant’s eye. The farmer is not impressed.
Soon they troop back to the car to find the Statue of Liberty.
They empty the box on Long Island, visit awhile, head for home.
In years to come the farmer shows vacation slides from 1975:
Time Square-Battery Park-Jones Beach-Cooperstown-Niagara Falls.
And the silver box will become part of family lore,
a story that will grow old with the children into gray middle age.
And the mildewed box will settle among milkweeds behind a corn crib.
And the farmer will rise up before dawn one winter, facing into the North wind.