River Roads by Pris Campbell

River Roads

It was my first trip back to Boston
after your breathless rush, crammed boxes
stacked like fortresses against my grief,
into the arms of another woman,
the first time I had courage enough
to stand on that steaming sidewalk
outside the yellow and green communal house
we’d years ago called home.

Upstairs, in that room, the one I will always
think of as ‘our room’, two shadows passed.
Pastel and gray ghosts.
Our ghosts, perhaps, lost in time,and
I was tugged suddenly up again into the memories.
Your mouth against mine.
The clamor of voices from the communal kitchen.
That strip of lace tacked lopsided
across the crate holding your shirts, my blouses.
My red hat lobbed across the bed, hair
tumbling carelessly down my back.
I was lost again to days we once thought
would merge, one into the other,
carrying us along as easily as a river
runs down to the sea.

Pris Campbell / ©2006 / Published in The Dead Mule, Spring 2007 edition

img_2555The poems of Pris Campbell have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including PoetsArtists, Rusty Truck, Bicycle Review, Chiron Review, and Outlaw Poetry Network. The Small Press has published eight collections of her poetry and Clemson University Press a collaboration with Scott Owens. When The Wolves Come After You, with Michael Parker, from Goss Publications and Squalls on the Horizon, a book of tanka, from Nixes Mate and My Southern Childhood are her most recent small press books. A former Clinical Psychologist, sailor and bicyclist until sidelined by ME/CFS in 1990, she makes her home in the Greater West Palm Beach, Florida, with her husband.

2 Replies to “River Roads by Pris Campbell”

    (Remembering stories you don’t have to wear your eyeballs down doing it.)
    Weather coming to be fine, in the 50’s; rainy all yesterdays maybe though.
    From early morning the ubiquitous American Flag often flapping, flagging
    just out the facing-east windows 25 yards away had disappeared yesterday,
    and now today again from the San Francisco (Neptune Society now before
    consolidation then again a few years ago) Columbarium establ by 1860 as an
    Odd Fellows brotherhood place for cremations for those who couldn’t be
    buried in a regulation cemetery s “consecrated” ground (plus graves not being
    permitted anywhere in our city now for 100 years. Gone south to Colma).
    And the flag’s still missing, not half-mast–gone. Speculation filigrede wonder.
    My dad’s father’s in one, we found, in Lebanon, Oregon (with the * my sister
    “Cookie” Agnes McGaha saw and was told it may indicate he was likely a
    suicide; he wouldn’t have been allowed to be buried if so anywhere else).
    That grandfather William Oliver Mycue born probably 1872 in Mille Lacs,
    MN after the Spanish Amer War established himself as an “engineer” in
    Niagara Falls 1898 or -9 and married my grandmother Margaret Powers an
    immigrant who came up from Ireland through Galveston TX before the end
    of the 19th century (records all lost from Galveston due to a great hurricane
    raked through the island and don’t recall when it was). They’ve turned off
    the Flagpole light on the Columbarium, so it is now all night darkened time.

    (C) Copyright Edward Mycue Saturday March 20, 2021 11:50 a.m.

  2. That’s quite a poem, Pris. Very moving. Reminds me of your sailing book that I published so long ago…. Sea Trails. Glad to see you’re still cranking ’em out.

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