South Fork Poetry: On Old Country Road

By Bernard Goldhirsch

The bus bores into the city
Of noises, rectagons
And life in death museums.

Getting to its pickup
Means a daydream drive
Through an Eastern woodlet:

Oak, pine, hickory
And shy dogwood trees,
Reclaiming their dead leaves.

The road is steeply banked,
Exalting the modest trees
And their rose windows.

I, too, am elevated
Passing through the glen’s
Green, quiet peace.

Then a Then, keener
Than this Now:
A school bus trip;

A yellow flying carpet
Sweeps my fourth grade class,
Mackinawed and lunch bagged,

Past stoops and bars,
Life insurers, pool halls,
Funeral homes and florists,

To the dark museum’s
Lighted diorama
Hall of Eastern Woodlands.

Still I stand before
The magic artifice
Behind the guardian glass.


Bernard Goldhirsch formerly taught English in Brooklyn. He lives in Springs.