Two Takes on the Terminal Tower
1. From the Terminal Tower, 1980
Lately places overlap in my memory
like the stripes in a mackerel sky,
the time between them, air, miles deep,
as invisible as never having existed.
I am standing in all the look-outs I have ever known:
my father lifts me up to this window in Cleveland
and a love points out Seville from the top of the Giralda
and alone above Niagara Falls I watch whirlpools form.
And the whole while, I am with my friends
who lingered in a fortress to watch sunset
and found themselves locked in a turret.
I’m at the end of a tangent, with snow falling
and all the color gone from a view where once even
the cars were as primary red and blue and green as toys
And all the neon pink clouds are blinking off, stacking up gray.
2. Another View, 2010
After Nathan Migal’s rephotographic survey, Terminal Tower
Another thirty years, and I am back down,
backing down, backing up and off, as always, ass-
backwards, this March weekend where time springs
ahead from last fall’s falling back in October,
and where I stood before, recalling my life’s lookouts,
I now stand below facing cars close up and modern
but able as then to move forward or break down,
and though I am always on a tangent, I’m no longer
at the end of it by a far shot, this far shot by Migal,
who says that peering into his viewfinder he found
a magical moment, that one where we really see
purple tulips, chartreuse grass, pale pink blossomed trees,
hear old cars and selves grumbling, find our new selves look up.
Diane Kendig’s six poetry collections include Prison Terms and Woman with a Fan. She has also published a chapbook of Nicaraguan translations and co-edited the anthology, In the Company of Russell Atkins. A recipient of awards from the Ohio Arts Council, Fulbright Program, and National Endowment for the Humanities, she has prose and poetry in anthologies and journals such as J Journal, Under the Sun, and Ekphrasis. A proponent of public writing workshops, she has conducted workshops in schools, neighborhood centers and prisons, notably at Lima Correctional Institution for 18 years. In 2011 she moved from Boston to her childhood home in Canton. From there, she curates “Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry” for Cuyahoga County Public Library (with 7,000 readers), and she is an artist in the schools for the Stark County SmARTS program. She’s on the web at dianekendig.com and blogs at “Home Again,” and “Kendig Writes with Kids” at blogspot. She created the poem “Two Takes from the Terminal Tower” for a Ekphrastacy reading at Heights Arts, and she is grateful to Gordon Square for presenting it in print.