Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 1
Spring 2010

[One Poem]

Gerry LaFemina

Most Days

—an homage to Stephen Dunn

If I were looking for holes in the ceiling, I might find work
& love. This is the way it goes, when you’re between angels
as I have been most of my life. Now is a time of not dancing,
despite the music, its funky unmistakable bass line.
In different hours, no doubt, there’d be different music
because there are always riffs & reciprocities, even here
this landscape at the end of the century. I am thinking now
not of a girl I once loved & the woman she has become
but of the insistence of beauty—though I’ll admit, it’s her
beauty that still comes to me, invasive as loosestrife.
I was full of lust and good usage then, & now, who’s to say?
Most days I play my part in the circus of needs,
get in my little clown car and drive home. It’s rush hour,
local time, & that means the traffic is doing what traffic
always does. If she could see me now, what would she say,
as I do my five impersonations, all of myself.
We make our local visitations beyond Hammonton,
winter at the Caspian Sea, & spend the rest of our days
here in the walking light of the mountains,
where the fog closes in around the windows some mornings
& the good self does the chores that need to be done:
takes out the garbage, throws old bread to the birds,
curses the heart’s unruly squirrel which chatters sometimes
incessantly, &, when it’s silent, looks for it to come back.


“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury