The Dead-End of Main Street
Main Street ran through my living room
until I shut and locked both doors.
I don’t know or care how traffic
detours around my house but
I resented the threat to my cats.
A heavy black girder bridge spans
the gap between this town and that one.
I wouldn’t drive or walk across it
for fear that the massive girders
would bend satirically, dumping me
into a vale of thorns and nettles.
You, of course, cross daily, driving
your mauve Porsche with élan.
When that engine winds up Main Street
the cats dodge to their beds and crouch
to spring on whatever creation
threatens to evolve in their presence.
When you step inside, breathing
like the average carnivore, we all
relax in a cross-species sigh.
When you drive me to the hospital
for my shift as a volunteer
we avoid the huge black bridge
by choosing the ridge road where trees
bend in tornado weather and cows
browse at angles too steep for people
to maintain. You try to explain
how traffic negotiates Main Street
now that I’ve closed off my house,
but I can’t follow logarithms
and solid geometry, don’t catch
nuances of parabolic math,
and avoid the fourth dimension.
Thanks for the ride. The senior bus
will take me home, the hospital smell
disgusting my cats, the dead-end
of Main Street smiling like a tombstone.
— by William Doreski
Copyright ©2012, by William Doreski. All Rights Reserved.
William Doreski teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire. His most recent collection of poetry is Waiting for the Angel (2009). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Atlanta Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Worcester Review, Harvard Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review, and Natural Bridge. He won the 2010 Aesthetica poetry award.