Those days, having the morning clouds, and with no one
around, it was quiet on the lookout.
For breakfast I ate animal crackers
and milk in a blue bowl marked
“World’s Fair, 1939.” Some of the figures
looked like my mother. I saved those till last.
Then I sat on the deck reading War
and Peace, The Magic Mountain, David
Copperfield— the big ones I’d brought. Four times
an hour I paced the catwalk to look
for smokes—nothing, the miles of pine tops
and then Mount Shasta. Those days I ate
the whole world, lined up my books and animals,
slowly erased all the trials and insults
the times had brought. I balanced my life
there a whole year. One day I washed
the blue bowl the last time and came down again.