Guest Poet Christine Crockett

Foreign Places

In Galway, I remember no faces

but mine, in the gliding glass

of the River Quay, unraveling

without motion. Nor were there

voices in the stairwell at night,

for I was alone in a kind

strangerís house, with the rain

sliding down into oily strips

along the bedside window. Outside

there were cars, slashing

through wetness towards pubs

that lined the waterís edge

and people who could not stop

singing. I opened my hand

on the clouded pane, trying

to name myself over again,

moving my lips to a mawkish

prayer, its taut repetitions

cradling me back

to the one who taught me

so gently to lie. Not even

she would save me. There

was only my voice in the deep

night sky, a dry 

wind twisting on the wide

River Quay, and a face

on the glass, breaking open.

January, 2000

Christine Crockett's Questions:

Does the poem read on both specific and metaphorical levels--the experience of the "foreigner"?

I have reworked the last stanza.†

Does it complete the poem as it should?

The Albany Poetry Workshop