Carolina Journal

By Nicole Pekarske Nicole Pekarske
Smoketrees line the roadside, still-bare beech and poplar
bouqueted with redbud and something rusty I can't name,
March's odd autumnals —
                                                                              One-church towns I'm glad
not to be from, split-log strip mall with a porch
where Claire's beauty shop shares a sign with "Antigues," where you study grace
in magazines, and when dad dies you rename the family diner

New York New York. Love is a means of travel, so you dye
the linens pink and swan-fold napkins, holding peony
in your mouth. Sundays drive out to watch the ferry
                                                                               drag its lace.

Coastward, Easter-colored clapboard,
the last generation's shanties hovering on narrow stilts
above the velour drift of tide plain (mink from a distance,

muskrat up close), a drowsy instrumental music,
flooded at dusk. Beside the bridge, smooth brow of pewter.
Island of saplings blackened like a framed-up house.

Source: Poetry (November 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2007


Nicole Pekarske is the author of Intermissa, Venus, (Wordtech Communications, 2004). She currently teaches writing, literature, and film at the University of Maryland and the Writer's Center.

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Family & Ancestors, Relationships, Cities & Urban Life, Trees & Flowers, Social Commentaries

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.