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Driving past Wallingford you say, again,

"This is where Lenny Golub lived; he died

in forty-five, in Belgium, when a mine

blew up his jeep; he was nineteen."  This ride


takes us to Massachusetts, where our son's

wife is making dinner, and the kids,

happily underfoot, pull all the pans

out of the cabinets and bang the lids.


They know when to start looking for our car,

moist starfish hands smearing the window glass.

We always make it.  Having come this far

we count on destinations.  But you pass


this town more quietly than most, your mind

on friends delayed elsewhere forever, who

left their names and their brief dates behind

in heavy summer green, to ambush you.


Homebound past Wallingford you'll say, again,

"This is where Lenny lived; he died—let's see—

in forty-five, in Belgium; that was when

his jeep blew up.  He was nineteen, like me."


                                        Rhina P. Espaillat



From Landscapes with Women: Four American Poets,
Singular Speech Press, © 1999; first published in Plains
Poetry Journal.
  Reprinted by permission of the author.