Friday, June 03, 2016

Poetry Friday: Back from Vacation

I haven't posted on this blog in a while, but now that summer is here, I hope to change that.  I finished school, graded feverishly and wrote comments and spoke at eighth grade graduation and then we left for five days of vacation in northern Haiti.  Since we got back yesterday, John Updike's poem seems appropriate for today.

Back from Vacation
John Updike
"Back from vacation", the barber announces,
or the postman, or the girl at the drugstore, now tan.
They are amazed to find the workaday world
still in place, their absence having slipped no cogs,
their customers having hardly missed them, and
there being so sparse an audience to tell of the wonders,
the pyramids they have seen, the silken warm seas,
the nighttimes of marimbas, the purchases achieved
in foreign languages, the beggars, the flies,
the hotel luxury, the grandeur of marble cities.
But at Customs the humdrum pressed its claims.
Gray days clicked shut around them; the yoke still fit,
warm as if never shucked. The world is still so small,
the evidence says, though their hearts cry, "Not so!"

My vacation brought me back with loads of photos and memories, and here's hoping I'll write some poems soon.  It's been too long.   No more gray days clicking shut around me.  I don't care how sparse the audience is - time to tell of wonders.

Here's today's roundup.


Doraine Bennett said...

I love that "not so!" Here's to renewal and lots of new poetry.

S. Evelyn said...

This is lovely; it feels as though it should be depressing ("their absence having slipped no cogs", "the yoke still fit, / warm as if never shucked") but it's got that core of remembered wonder. Thank you for sharing it.

Mary Lee said...

AHHHH! You gave me a vision of the end of August with this: "the yoke still fit, / warm as if never shucked."

I'm just going to ignore that, and focus on one day left, one day left, one day left (and a WHOLE LOT of work still to do), one day left and then FREEDOM!!

Books4Learning said...

I never realized Updike also wrote poetry. I love his short fiction. Seems like a fitting poem for this time of year.

Violet Nesdoly said...

The same lines Mary Lee picked (about the warm yoke) snagged me. This poem is so right-on, Updike obviously experienced it. I hope the holiday aura hovers around you for a long time!