Never met him myself. It was my brother

who lived in the house on his sabbatical.

My boyfriend Ed and I would drive

the Yamaha up Route 104 weekends

to escape the tyranny of parents

and find our true selves.


The house itself was very old, almost

untouched - it seemed -from the time

it served as an underground railway

in that war before the world debacles.

There was a cradle that contained

sheet music - sonatas that rocked gently

when the cat would jump off the dusty sofa

and stir the braided rug.


The canopied bed in the ground floor bedroom,

the vine out in back we would lie beneath

those late summer days, all the trees

sheltering us from a world we had come from

and to which we would have to return

kept me in mind all the time

of the dank passageways in the cellar

that led nowhere now.


The cat was called Fiddle and the tom

that courted her my brother named Beau,

hardly knowing, then, how apt it was

to make meaning

by naming it.



. Karen Alkalay-Gut home