April 22, 2020
Though I know the air
outside probably cannot infect me,
I choose to stay inside
nevertheless, and watch
a high-definition tour bus ride
through the Yorkshire Dales,
a trip that took place back when
the biggest concern for groups
of tourists was not keeping six feet
apart, but getting a window seat.
My parents once took this very tour
over rugged hills whiskered with bracken
and down through river-jeweled valleys.
Together they snapped countless images
of lichened stone walls
that separate one flock of sheep
from another, of tall holly hedgerows
lining narrow serpentine roads,
and of the faces of strangers
befriended in the hour-and-a-half
it took to cross North Yorkshire.
All those images, now faded and brittle,
remain preserved as Kodak slides.
The attic holds the memories
of all their trips in labeled boxes
of black carousels stacked layer upon layer
like strata marking the epochs of their lives,
epochs I haven’t the strength to excavate.
Kip Knott’s first collection of short stories, Some Birds Nest in Broken Branches, is available from Alien Buddha Press. His most recent full-length book of poetry, Clean Coal Burn, is available from Kelsay Books. You can follow him on Twitter at @kip_knott and read more of his writing at https://www.kipknott.com.