The Butler Pennsylvania Poems

Setting Foot

When I was a boy my compass said:
Main Street points North
where parades come from
to end  up at the Court House,
and Brady Street points West
along the route the circus takes
from the train yard to the fairgrounds.

Where those lines crossed
my world opened up
and expand to the edge of town
and the woods beyond,
coordinates between which
I staked out and claimed
Utopia as my own,
lived in it, that time-free realm,
then, growing self-reliant, left—
forgetting what I had
until some yearning unstillable
drew me back
to where those lines met.

So I returned to the Eden that once was,
knowing I could never find it again,
yet I would live within its bounds
with the boy in me
who had known and seen,
and I could hope and believe
and await the gate to open
to an Eden grander yet
than the one I once possessed
in those guileless boyhood days,
with that first beguiling taste.

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. . . Boyhood memories of Butler. Other memories get lost -- but these stay on . . .