On Hammond Street

Anne Britting Oleson


Photo Credit: Kelly Hau/Flickr (CC-by)

Not even a chance meeting,
just your name, printed
on a card on a mailbox
in the quiet hall
outside the waiting room.

Sitting here, watching traffic
through half-open blinds,
four floors below you—
no; midday, and you’re
surely not home—
tumbled about in other
apartments, traffic, city, times,
thinking: of all the stories
I told you, with words
and silences both,
none was quite so true
as the one I never spoke.

And should I, one day,
step outside this waiting room
to see you sorting
through the post,
would I speak then,
or walk on, quickly,
onto the galleried porch
and into the street,
letting this opportunity pass
as I did that other,
all that time ago,
out of the shimmering confusion
between the possible
and the impossible?

pencilAnne Britting Oleson has been published widely in North America, Europe and Asia. She earned her MFA at the Stonecoast program of USM. She has published two chapbooks, The Church of St. Materiana (2007) and The Beauty of It (2010). Email: annewords1965[at]gmail.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email