Poetically Yours - 'A park they can live with'
Welcome to WNIJ's Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. Today's segment features poet Richard Holinger.
Holinger is a published author. His books include: Kangaroo Rabbits and Galvanized Fences, a collection of his newspaper columns, and North of Crivitz, a book of poetry focusing on the North Woods and Upper Midwest. His work has received three Pushcart Prize nominations, and his essay published in Thread received a “Notable” mention in Best American Essays 2018. Holinger's works have appeared in several different journals.
He lives in the Fox River Valley area west of Chicago. Degrees include a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Today he shares his poem “Love and Death in the Trailer Park.”
The coffee sits cold in mismatched cups
Stolen from a flea market in Green Bay.
“Come around here,” Phyllis says to Mark.
The trailer humps the earth, gasps for air.
“She’s brought another one back,” the voyeur says
Who last year put up a plastic roof over his door.
“You should never,” the voyeur’s wife replies,
“have removed our wheels without asking me.”
“I thought it was settled we’re settled.”
Sitting in lawn chairs they consider things
while a holstered boy
behind flowered plastic kitchen drapes
believes them to be aliens on a mission from Mars.
Sitting on the sink’s edge, he strains to hear
His mother’s cowboy boots outside.
Why does she always come home at different times?
In blue jeans and t-shirt, his mother thumbs
At the Interstate exit where the blacktop missing
Its center line might bring work. She looks ethereal
to the Holtzes, Tom and Marie, gazing through
the tinted windshield of the Buick LeSabre they’ll trade
soon’s they find a park they can live with.
- Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.