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The Formation of Puddles

Gerry LaFemina

                                          begins with rain streaking
the windows & coalescing on the driveway

or by the front sidewalk. When I was a child,
I’d watch run off
guttering its way to the corner grate.

By adolescence I’d learned the simple enjoyment
of walking on such days, preferably
with a girl, but, more often than not, alone.

If my sixteenth year had a soundtrack
it would be the staccato of a storm on St. Mark’s Place,
buzz-saw guitars from of an open doorway, the infrequent

tom-tom roll of the Six train
beneath Astor Place, almost rheumy. In the morning
worms will appear at the puddle’s edge,

who knows from where?
Then birds’ll come to gorge themselves & bristle
their feathers in the filthy water. Then

the local stray cat will arrive hungry
& aloof– it’s him I understand best.

Gerry LaFemina

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