Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.


Cherrydale, et al 
by Michael A. Schaffner

Yesterday the season changed 
a little sooner than expected. 
One wonders which warblers will find a new home. 

I haven’t seen a possum since driving
home from Loudoun County, back from farms 
that gave their names to corporate crossroads 
as produce stands grew into chains. 

But one should avoid nostalgia like favorite brands 
subcontracted into oblivion. 
I have a friend who sees everything from a condo 
at the top of Stafford and can tell you 

all we see from our porches survives 
only as a minor archipelago 
in a sea of change that rises at a rate 
we feel as glacial, though glaciers melt 

as fast as our history of forgetting.

Michael A. Schaffner is a retired civil servant. His publications include the novel War Boys, the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and poems in ShenandoahAgni (online), Beloit Poetry JournalPrairie Schooner, Stand, Poetry Salzburg, OrbisPoet Lore, and a bunch of other places, mostly ephemeral.

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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