We won't ever take a boat again. It's too much fuss
and the lichen drapes too thickly and chillingly off the bow
warning us in a supple way about the hours of digging
without finding anything that we are about to engage in.
What a wonderful thing to be on an island
in the middle of the day!--island with large red flowers
and cupboards and pretty purple flowers and strange dogs!
The noise of politics subsides, the dirth of Something Is Wrong
quiets to a warm, low-pitched hum. One almost forgets
about News, which always arrives suddenly and is about
other people. What to do on this island: Make wampum.
Nod this way and that with your only head.
Jump around the barn and yell. Open the flower book
and pour the clam water into five bowls.
Seal forever the packages and green bottle of possible love
that arrives in a big basket. Climb the high rocks and find
lots of Indian things. Isn't it beautiful?
The best part is where you lie about your incissors
just to get closer to the girl of your dreams
while all the children play ball. The catch? This is
an imaginary island that you only access in your head
in bed the morning after Christmas
while drinking Gautemalan coffee and wearing dry clothes
and asking everyone where they've been all night.
source text: Surprise Island, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Brooks Lampe teaches rhetoric, composition, and poetry. He just finished his dissertation on Surrealism in 20th century American poetry at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. He currently lives in Newark, Delaware, where he teaches writing at the University of Delaware