I come home through Marcus Hook,

where the sky is always set to twilight.

Its only draw is the crab shack.

We ate there once and our peppery hands attracted

fat black flies that bit us without mercy.

My train inches beside a row of duplex

houses, each fronted by a pubic patch of green.

Somehow, there are children

who have sprouted as lacy weeds do

at the edge of a contaminated creek.

Through the emergency window, I hear them,

their lungs so wide.

They ride bicycles down asphalt lanes

and shout their plans of escape

into the motionless air.




Author’s Note: I’m a native of the Philadelphia area and Marcus Hook is one of those depressed industrial suburbs that manages to capture the imagination.




Jennifer Doerr earned her MFA in creative writing from The New School. She lives in New York City and blogs at wordandservice.wordpress.com.