The 2River View 25.4 (Summer 2021)

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

Mystery Street

I thought it was a gravel road
lonely as a falling barn with slats
ringing in the the wind
while three wild horses wait
for no one to return.

I thought its way would shine
like red glass in sunlight,
so full of darkness it would arrest me
with the clarity of direction.

I didn't want it to be a crowded street
in Calcutta with orange wings and screeching
wheels, a dead end too, while fire burned in a bin,
or for it to be a slope bundled in beige
split levels in a St. Louis suburb.

If it was a street, why not one I knew,
even if I carried such weight on my shoulders
that I missed the red door that was always there?

If it was a mystery what I carried,
why did I know where to step next?

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg served as the Kansas Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2013. She is the author of twenty-four books, including How Time Moves: New & Selected Poems and Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust. website

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