Poetry Porch: Poetry


by Llyn Clague

Near the end of a long life
I have slowly come to realize I am an alien
only in my heart.

For all the quiddities and oddities
of my character-shaping childhood —
broccoli, Brussels sprouts, piano lessons, that boys
all over this wide country abominate —
I am not alone.

On a deep, thick, blue, rug
between hearth, grand piano, and two sofas
in a living room red with mists of rage
where, of course, my parents did love me,
I am like many others.

At a prep school with jackets and ties for ten-year-olds,
at a small, liberal, leftist college — god, I loved it! —
in graduate studies at an Ivy, how I hated it,
for all the ingenuity of my alibis
I am one among others.

Rebel, radical, anti-Establishment,
anti-Exceptionalism, -Everything, railing, screaming
against injustice, unfairness (who wasnít? isnít?), and most
of the American wars of my lifetime,
I belong to a multitude.

Even with all my living abroad,
inside far families, far inside astonished languages,
close to lives not across the sea,
however much a passport alien,
I am not alone.

Near the end of a long life,
with death closer around its chosen corner,
however unique my every quirk and quibble,
I have companions, and am an alien
only in my heart.

Copyright © 2016 by Llyn Clague.