In Aequo Animo

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In Aequo Animo

In Aequo Animo

The narrative poem for today is a family tale “recollected in tranquility,” as William Wordsworth said.

"In Aequo Animo" by Tim Russell

Later, when it’s over
when you are waiting
for the light to change
at the Market Street Bridge,
although it defies reason
to wait at two in the morning
on this deserted stretch,
after your sleep
has been interrupted
by the telephone
and you have answered
your mother’s summons
and driven through snow
to your childhood home,
after you have crept
down squeaking stairs
into the gray cellar
you still think of as yours,
and showed your own father
how to relight the pilot light
to his own furnace,
and you have come back up,
and had a cup of coffee,
while you waited with your mother
for the house to warm up,
later, when either way
you are halfway home,
and a red traffic light
in the middle of nowhere
vanishes, and the green
suddenly appears,
you calmly understand
this was a dry run.

"In Aequo Animo" by Tim Russell from Adversaria. Triquarterly Books 1993. Used with permission of the author.

Tim Russell worked 24 years at Weirton Steel and published several chapbooks and his Terrence Des Pres Prize-winning book Adversaria. He retired from the mill 17 years ago and of his life now, he writes, “Raymond Carver has a poem called ‘Gravy.’ It's pertinent.”