Poem: Around Town by Katherine Towler

Around Town
November 9, 2016

The walk to the post office
is a tour of a crime scene,
the streets narrowed,
lights dimmed.
I examine the faces
of passing neighbors.
Did you do this? I ask.
Did you?

The young woman
behind the register
at the market
gives no sign
she knows,
her blithe cheer
suggesting life goes on
with no need of further explanation,
but I don’t have a generation
or two to wait
this sickness out.

The park, strangely twisted,
has become a place
I do not want to be,
the river, too flat,
love emptied of its power,
the bricks in the sidewalk
missiles ready to be thrown.

Here is the bridge,
here is the tide
coming in
as it has done
and will do again,
but even this rising
and falling of water,
the hours of the clock
going round
and round again,
loom before me as figments
of an imagination
too monstrous
to consider.


Katherine Towler is the author of the memoir The Penny Poet of Portsmouth and the novels Snow Island, Evening Ferry, and Island Light; and co-editor of A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith. She teaches in the Mountain View MFA Program in Writing at Southern New Hampshire University.

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