Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Daughters in New York

artwork: ralph murre

My Daughters in New York       
by James Reiss                                  

What streets, what taxis transport them
over bridges & speed bumps—my daughters swift

in pursuit of union? What suitors amuse them, what mazes
of avenues tilt & confuse them as pleasure, that pinball,

goes bouncing off light posts & lands in a pothole,
only to pop up & roll in the gutter? What footloose new

freedoms allow them to plow through all stop signs,
careening at corners, hell-bent for the road to blaze straight?

It’s 10 P.M. in the boonies. My children, I’m thinking
you’re thinking your children are waiting

for you to conceive them while you’re in a snarl
with my sons-in-law-to-be who want also to be

amazing explorers beguiled by these reckless night rides
that may God willing give way to ten thousand good mornings!

~ first published in The Atlantic Monthly
and subsequently in the Pulitzer-nominated
Ten Thousand Good Mornings (Carnegie Mellon University Press)