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Riding the Q Train at Six

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Riding the Q Train at Six

to visit Jacob, their noses pressed
up against the window of the lead car
to see every blue and red marker light,
the red-yellow-green signal stop lights,
exciting speed, sharp turns, screeching brakes
high-pitched whine of steel on steel ,
kids riveted, the City’s power
in your bones the whole half hour ride.

As the train comes out of the ground
in Brooklyn, after Prospect Park,
I ask, “What do you see?”
and Alex says,
It’s another world—
pretty houses and trees.

That’s when I knew,
already a New York ex-pat

Age of Reason: 27 Months

Saturday night, friends over for dinner
We’d just sat down to eat
when Alex woke up and cried.
I went into his room,
Book. Book, Mommy!

I said, “It’s dark, sweetie.
It’s night-night.
Book, book, he insisted.
I got him a book,
which he clutched to his chest, saying,
Read, Mommy, read.
Taking a deep breath,
I sat down and held the book
out toward him
so he could see the pictures.

Once upon a time,
there was a little boy
who wouldn’t go night-night
even though it was very late.
He called for his mommy
and asked her to read him a story,
and the mommy said,
Little Boy, it’s too dark for stories.
We’ll read in the morning.
But the boy insisted,
so his mommy began to tell him
a story. She told him that her friends
were visiting, that she and daddy were
on a playdate and that their friends.
were waiting for her.
“Why,” the boy asked.
Because adults play by just
sitting still and talking.
This must have sounded very boring
because his head
nestled onto the pillow

he’d fallen asleep.

Just as I was tiptoeing out of the room,
his twin brother called,
Book, Mommy.
He held a book out
that he’d taken to bed with him,
Story, Mommy, story.


Their high-wire friend
since first grade
Colton, now on meds
for his own ADHD
was given firecrackers
by his stupid grandfather
that he sold
to Alex & Matt
who then brought them
to the Beach Party potluck

So, after the hot dogs and burgers,
during the bonfire and S’mores,
sunset smoldering,
your two have snuck off,
jumping at the ocean’s edge
screaming with delight
over the pop and cackle
of the whizzing firecrackers
they managed to light

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Dion Farquhar is a poet and fiction writer with recent poems in Columbia Poetry Review, Cricket Online Review, moria, BlazeVOX, Shifter, etc. Her second poetry book Wonderful Terrible came out in 2013 with Main Street Rag Publishing, and her first poetry book Feet First was published by Evening Street Press in 2010. She is Professor in the Women's Studies department at University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

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