Erica Lehrer - Poet - Author
Dancing With Ataxia
By Erica Lehrer
for David Prather
If you didn’t live one thousand five hundred
fifty-four point eight miles away, I would bake a bread
of the richest most delicious pumpernickel, sweetened
with honey, in the breadmaker I considered buying –
but didn’t, having realized, as I stood conversing
with the aproned salesman with thinning hair,
that I didn’t have anyone to bake for, at least
no one within driving distance – although, certainly,
the distance between us is drivable if I spent
several days behind the wheel of a car, crossing
Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and most of California.
Sometime after sunrise, I’d leave the bread – so fragrant! –
on your doorstep, wrapped in a blue cloth napkin
in a wicker basket filled with jams and a carafe
of chilled juice squeezed from oranges plucked
from a tree in my backyard – if I had an orange tree.
Then, enjoying the morning birdsong, I’d linger
on your top step. Still dawdling, I’d look up, marveling
that the trees lining your street form a green canopy,
their outstretched branches touching overhead; and that,
or those trees, planted as saplings a century ago,
the distance they’ve traveled through time and space to reach
each other exceeds the one thousand five hundred
fifty-four point eight miles I would travel, across
state lines, mountains, ravines and deserts, to your door.
Copyright 2011 Erica Lehrer, All rights reserved.