A Visit With Carter Monroe
Five miles from Goshen Swamp
Carter is drawn by darkness to
the moveable graves of golf holes,
the joyous cleft of cleats in green.
It is the way that Monk interprets
the shadows in the corner and
the bluish glow of bar lights
with the same impervious hand.
Carter chooses his chair
like the old waiter in Hemingway;
we drink and eat through ball games,
through putts and shots down the fairway.
Scotch and Budweiser and writer talk
sandwiched between bluegrass, politics,
and friends from Nashville, holding back
the darkness of Goshen Swamp.
The TV projects Monk's flighty stares,
shoulders dancing over the piano,
chin, a gray fuse of goatee,
every key struck, a perfect choice.
Carter fades, balancing last beer
with last smoke, drawn to darkness
in a room adorned with pictures,
arranged and ruled by music and words.
When I leave, the morning grays
the streets with rain and fog, and I am drawn
past the darkness of Goshen Swamp,
to the silence of provincial travel.
Fishing a biscuit from the bag,
I think this flat land into hills.