My Own Cape Cod

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)


Heat wave. Nobody can believe it.
We used to spread sheets on the parlor floor at night,
a breeze from the river below our house sometimes came up late.
Cape Cod is not supposed to ever, ever get really hot.

I have a number of windows which cannot be opened.
Several have the storm glass on all year.
I got out the electric fan and plugged it in,
then I started to type.

A sudden noise made me think the guests were dropping in.
I went back to the front of the house.
The whole living room smelled of burned rubber, hot oil and disaster.

Any appliance I have always gives up dramatically at the worst possible moment:
– the furnace inland goes off when it is thirty below,
– the electric range went off last Christmas as dinner was cooking,
– the vacuum cleaner collapsed after a party when the floors were deep with crumbs.

I was reading “My Own Cape Cod” by Gladys Taber, about her experiences on the Cape when I got your message about Poems from Page 143. It was originally written in 1971, a year after I had my son. The pace of life was so different then! This book is a wonderful reminder of summer vacations, in our case camping and hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or later to Cape Cod to windsurf and drive our jeep in the dunes! I titled my poem “Disaster” which perhaps is a bit too dramatic, but comes from a line in the text. The pace of the poem and the style are a throwback to a more “folksy” style of poetry and when life was simpler. I mostly chose complete sentences which captures her writing style. — Linda Taylor