Right in the Neighborhood [poem] by David Worrell

A bookshelf holds my dog-eared college copy of Paradise Lost—
inside, her snapshot preserved between the onion skin.

How could desire fail? How could so much have been left undone,
or done so poorly? Spread across my library table, a map of Philadelphia—

three feet long, more than three feet wide—each crisscrossing street
named in type just out of the reach of my squint. As I hover over

the schematized landscape, I think I know it, but I do not.
I’ve never walked most of the streets and in a lifetime here,

with all the passing cars, jam-packed ballparks and Mummers’ parades,
never even glimpsed most of the people. Slowly we’re falling into the sea

of non-being. Yet time remains for more unfolding—to find the one whose
inner topography matches the map—there all along, just around the corner.

 

Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

Image by davecito

David Worrell’s first chapbook, titled “We Who Were Bound,” was published in August 2012. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in U.S. 1 Worksheets, Mad Poets Review, Exit 13, Wild River Review, Fox Chase Review, Adanna, Symbiosis, Edison Literary Review, Canary, Stillwater Review and The Casa de Cinco Hermanas Journal. He has performed his music-backed poems at Chris’ Jazz Café in Philadelphia and The Cornelia Street Café in New York. He began writing poetry toward the end of his 30-plus year law career. He has taught writing at area community colleges and, for the past six years, has taught business law to undergraduates at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. He hopes to impart to his students how law, like literature, fosters human interconnection and a better world.