David Harris Ebenbach


First through fourth,
I took a train to the suburbs.
My Mom at work, of course,
I walked myself to the station
deeper into the neighborhood--
through the unknown on the map,
the There Be Monsters part.
     (One time,
     an old man lying in the street
     between parked cars,
     the running blood
     the only color on his face,
     his arm up for help.
     Another time,
     a kid, bigger than me,
     pointing a broken bottle.
     You’d better run, he said.
     I did run, then--
     I remember my winter coat
     not fitting
     on my churning body,
     my backpack leaping.
     In fact, I ran both times.
     I left the old man there, too,
     with his nightmare blood.)
On the other end of the tracks
one of those old mossy stations
that waits quietly for the trains,
and the uneventful walk to school.
Every Thursday,
silent meeting in the mornings.
I didn’t know what to think about.
The teachers stood up
with their morality stories.
In the only one I remember,
two mice struggled
to get cheese from a stick,
teetering on the lip of a bucket.

David Harris Ebenbach’s poetry has appeared in, among other places, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Subtropics, and Mudfish. His first book of short stories, Between Camelots (University of Pittsburgh Press), won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and the GLCA New Writer’s Award. Recently awarded an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and the Vermont Studio Center, and a nomination for a Pushcart Prize, Ebenbach has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. Find out more at www.davidebenbach.com.

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