Dark and light places

October 7, 2015

I ran away from home once
to the nearby Bell Theatre,
where I often viewed musicals
and comedies with my family.
I wanted to escape from quarrels,
to find in the dark a life
as shimmering as the stars.

The Sound and the Fury with Yul Brynner
and Joanne Woodward was playing
that night. Before long, my father
came to take me home. I was eleven,
too young to flee my family.
He rescued me, as he would later,
while away in school, sending me
cash folded into his letters.

My father resisted my mother
as well: Thanksgiving he refused
to eat her green peas and mushrooms,
dubbed them buckshot and devil umbrellas
word play an antidote to bickering.

Years on, I taught Faulkner’s novel,
remembered the night my father
took me home, his small notes
on the underside of silver paper
lining his cigarette packs.