Iowa Writes

CRAIG MOREAU
Estherville, Iowa
From Chelsea Boy


1.
     You were
Mae's Dairy Deli when
all I had to do was ride
down the Half-Mile Hill
on a 10-speed before
I reached swim practice.
     I would dive in
and follow the lane lines,
exhausting myself in races
so on the bus trips home
I could play M.A.S.H.
     A game to reveal
my wrongs—swimming
harder as I traded two
wheels for four
and a flat-bed.

2.
     You became
Hoyte-Luthley Football
Field and the sound of
cleats walking on black
top,
     wet blades of grass
pried from clumps of mud,
a three-point stance,
          weight
only slightly in front, arms
making a pendulum, eyes
shattering
     the cracks in plastic
armor.

1.
     You were
Mae's Dairy Deli when
all I had to do was ride
down the Half-Mile Hill
on a 10-speed before
I reached swim practice.
     I would dive in
and follow the lane lines,
exhausting myself in races
so on the bus trips home
I could play M.A.S.H.
     A game to reveal
my wrongs—swimming
harder as I traded two
wheels for four
and a flat-bed.

2.
     You became
Hoyte-Luthley Football
Field and the sound of
cleats walking on black
top,
     wet blades of grass
pried from clumps of mud,
a three-point stance,
          weight
only slightly in front, arms
making a pendulum, eyes
shattering
     the cracks in plastic
armor.

3.
     You are
The Trestle—abandoned
like fruits you threw out
for not being vegetables,
good—like corn
          or soy.
I could have done the will
of the elders, "best not to
cause a stir" really means
"best to watch fall turn
to fall."
     But I must conform, yes—
that is a value of The Trestle
and while I never smoked
under its orange tracks
I did learn
       to admire
the boys who did.

4.
     I am
grateful for being built
in the heart-fueled factories
of McKinley Elementary,
The Elks Lodge,
Alco's, and Orchard Lanes.

But there was no place
to assemble a Craig, model 1986.
My parts laid in disconnect,
rusting by my
own rot.        So I left
to a place where sky-
scrapers stand on their own
steal and cast shadows
across an ocean.

more

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


CRAIG MOREAU

Craig Moreau received his MFA from New York University and is currently teaching at the College of New Rochelle and Columbia University and writes for The Outlet: The Blog of Electric Literature. His work most recently appeared in Lambda Literary and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His first collection of poetry, Chelsea Boy, was released in June 2011 by Chelsea Station Editions.

This page was first displayed
on November 14, 2011

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