Telling Stories
Ronald Moran

This time it was about taking a long holiday
                        from work,
to travel the country, wherever I wanted
                        to go,
and having returned—though not recalling
                        a place

or even a name—telling everyone I did it.
                        And so
I took a year, sometimes two, just to travel,
                        and now
I am back, wherever that is, ready to work

Other times I have returned from a college
                        where I took
a  degree, not because I had to but because
                        it made
a difference to me, or I thought it did then.
                        I was proud.

Always, the school was in the Deep South,
                        like Louisiana,
and I was richer for the experience, which,
                        of course,
I cannot remember, and I am thinking
                        of some

of the bright, young poets in our country
                        who win
awards in their twenties: what they could
                        do in poems
with dreams, besides appropriating them—
                        the poets

whose own connections startle and delight
yielding the story, splintered as it might be               
                        from the start,
or halfway through, or anywhere else in lines
                        that drop

like Creeley’s to the bottom of the page,
                        an ease
of passage, like a canal between harsh straits,
                        as they
reinvent their dreams, as if on a pilgrimage
                        of self.

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