matt pond PA

March 5, 2019

When There Is A Tapping.

This morning, the entire forest held its baton branches up to the snow-gray sky. Before the birds began. Before thawing drops slapped wet pavement and beckoned the inept all-season tires up top, untangling wind chimes, the drip and crackle of a melt and shift.

(Slim sticks with the satin sleeves of greenery removed, ready to cue warm rain on crusty ice, the clouds and ground with their unbreakable bond, a modest yet essential give-and-take that allows us to expand our lungs and sometimes even love.)

A Viewmaster mind, still frozen in the upheld symphonic moment, prior to the first note. I have to put extra pressure on the lever to flip through the film, to see my life through houses and apartments dotting the state of New Hampshire. The sprawling yellow clapboard in Jefferson, the little cottage in Franconia, a two-story green rental down the street with hidden spears and fake vomit beneath the piano pedals, gratitude for our instructor’s impatience. In North Woodstock, I was mostly afraid of the odor. It never waned, it was always strange. Dying cedar, damp leaves. In Hanover, we hopped between spots until settling on Wheelock Street. The basement bedroom flooding and the same moldy wood smells following from across the state. This, the corresponding way I’ve learned that infestations of mice will travel with you to your new home. Colonies hidden in bags of needless tennis shoes, a portable nest in the mothball sheets. Always ready for a ride.

There was danger in all these places. No matter how many Granite State county lines were crossed, I was always looking over my shoulder.

I continue to wander around these rooms and the grounds surrounding, under eyelids, before dawn. Unlocking rusty gates, casually passing through time and space.

There was a way out when I got to where I am in Kingston. In these rooms, I’m the one holding the lantern. I scrub the floors and tell most of the stories. These rooms have to listen to me as much as I have to listen to them.

We are an audience with the blinds open. An audience often uncomfortable without a spotlight weaving overhead, crowding out and sometimes even shouting down love. Outside, the batons are still slung up high, waiting for something more than spring.