Sweet Wine and Saddle Oxfords
Fara comes to me often lately,
comes down from Grey Hill,
leaving an empty hole between white stones.
She wears the black and white oxfords
from her 1970 cheerleading tryouts.
I still remember how hard she cried.
I am carried by her memory to 1974.
I come into the white house on State Street,
to sit primly at my desk, and wait for
the ringing of a hard black phone.
The Victorian office smells of Clorox
with an undertone of stale piss.
I am busy writing unsigned prescriptions
for black beauties and yellow jackets.
The truckers will bring me presents
of whatever is in their loads.
They bribe their way into being first in line;
snatching the degreed signature of dated medicine.
He comes shuffling down the back hallway
where the black patients used to sit. Separate.
I have never seen him look so tired.
His worn charcoal suit coat falls in loose
thin folds of soft shine from his shoulders.
It's lower in the front, because he has a hump.
'She's dead' he whispers with his head low.
'Who's dead, Doctor Johnson? '
I think through all the old folks
who come to sit musty in the parlour
seeking the relief of small white pills.
I am absently unprepared for his news.
'Fara Moore. She just died on me.'
Somewhere far away I hear a sigh.
Somewhere in the bottom of my heart
I hear a dull breaking sound.
I think of a laughing skinny girl
with glasses and a soft blonde flip.
I think of cutting donuts behind the high school
with Fara riding shotgun in a yellow Torino.
I think of sweet Boone's Farm wine
in a brown paper bag, two girls laughing,
two boys touching tight tan knees
above black and white saddle oxfords.
She comes to me often lately.
She comes to laugh over old times.
She comes to warn of new days.
She comes to share a glass of wine,
and helps me dance the Tiger dance
of sunshine days when life was clear.
Shirley Alexander's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Sweet Wine and Saddle Oxfords by Shirley Alexander )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
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Edgar Allan Poe
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A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
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William Carlos Williams
(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- The Pagan World, Matthew Arnold
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
- Adlestrop, Edward Thomas
- A Thing of Beauty (Endymion), John Keats
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost