The Northerners

It seemed we moved
into new houses
every two years;
getting up early
those first mornings
with loud yawns,
an exaggerated stretch,
almost contentment.

Even our neighbors
were shiny and new,
at first, and at first,
we were opened,
taking them up on their
generous invitations
of summer-fun BBQs,
and southern fish fries;
you in the center of hunters,
fishermen, men who liked
to work with their hands,
a man’s man, the kind
my father respected,
and took at their word.

How uncomfortable
you looked standing there,
holding a cold Sam Adams,
bobbing your head
in agreement
on the art of deer hunting,
aware your dear wife
loved animals;
how I covered my eyes
as we drove by
their broken,
awkwardly-bent carcasses
strewn on the side of roads.

You watched me
from across the deck, too,
sitting at a picnic table
with their chatty wives,
dressed in black-knit jersey,
wearing my beloved,
amber-colored beads.

You noticed the nuance
in our styles —
the women in their pink
and butter-yellow polos,
their white-shroud Capris,
how their clothes
reflected the afternoon sun,
instead of absorbing it.

You couldn’t understand
why every sentence
started and ended with Honey
like Honey, I’ll get that, or
You don’t want to do that,

It was a little too intimate
for Northerners.

Carolynn Kingyens was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia. Today, she lives in New York City with her husband, and two kind, funny, creative daughters. Carolynn has a forthcoming book of poetry, Before the Big Bang Makes a Sound, scheduled to be released May/June 2020.

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2 Responses to The Northerners

  1. sanjukta says:

    a gem

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