An Ether

By Robert VanderMolen Robert VanderMolen
Past the fountain out of repair
And the boarded diner

A small studio
You’d never told anyone about

Where old clothes have remained
Right where you’ve dumped them

Side by side
With random notes and sketches

When someone close to you
Has a different idea of what you represent

He insisted
You’ll write a check for the loan

There were other misjudgments
As well. Exits were being blocked

Down every hall I walked

Until a sort of muscle memory—
Well, I knew it all along, of course,

But thought it was in the future,
It rested like a memory—

This desire
For a place respecting anonymity

Oiling your .38 Special,
Like a criminal readying for benefits

A bottle of Jack Daniels—

This and more

Shaded by echoing buildings
With a glance toward the harbor

The water rough with small debris

Source: Poetry (November 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011
 Robert  VanderMolen


Robert VanderMolen lives and works in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His latest collection of poems is Water (Michigan State University Press, 2008).

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, The Mind

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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