Pennsylvania Psalm by Andy Macera

Pennsylvania Psalm

You will be as you
. . . .were before you were born, no
different than an animal on
. . . . . . . .the side
. . . .of the road, a spider
on the bottom of a
. . . . . . . .shoe,
. . . .staring at a fetus filled jar
. . . . . . . .at the Mütter Museum

with your granddaughter, her favorite
. . . .trick pulling back
. . . . . . . .the bent
boards of your fingers
. . . .to reveal a
. . . . . . . .pearly quarter in the
oyster of your magical
. . . .palm, your heads
snapped back by height,
. . . .staring up, the tall
. . . . . . . .buildings

parents leaning over a crib,
. . . .a mobile of birds and
. . . .planes circling their
. . . . . . . .smiles,
waves of sunlight rolling
. . . . . . . .across walls,
. . . .washing up against windows,
cooling the distorted ankles
. . . . . . . .of a reflection,
. . . .an autumn afternoon,
. . . . . . . .enormous and without end,
the trees like children carrying
. . . . . . . .balloons,

driving with the top
. . . .down on
. . . .Lincoln Highway,
. . . . . . . .past a horse and
buggy, the Amish
. . . .who die more slowly, her
. . . . . . . .long hair blown back,
a coat tail you can’t
. . . .reach, hands stuck to
. . . .the wheel,
. . . . . . . .full throttle into the
future, the brakes
. . . . . . . .burning, as if you could keep

her from being
. . . .older, the way she’ll look,
. . . .the stroke of sadness
. . . . . . . .when she tells you
. . . . . . . .that
the moon reminds her
. . . . . . . .of a
boy she caught staring
. . . .across a room at her,
how it made her body hum,
. . . .her heart rattle.

by Andy Macera

Editor’s note: The title of this poem deceives the reader into thinking that it will be about a place, when instead it is about the life that happens inside a particular home in a particular state. The jagged lines and run-on sentence reflect the narrator’s fractured emotional journey from old age to youth.

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