Footsteps and Cold Spots
I sit in my room,
Indian style on my bed
With a tape recorder before me.
Pages of history printed from the microfiche
Reader at the public library
Documents of a sad tale,
Grown tedious except for the echo.
I have questions written down
On a legal pad, things that I want to ask you
This was your room, wasn’t it? Give me something
To tell them. Something that
Cannot be explained away
Can I help you somehow?
They say I spin yarn.
What holds you here? I won’t know
If you respond until I rewind the tape and listen,
Listen in the pauses after my voice.
Do you want to move on?
Thomas O’Connell is a librarian living on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, NY, where he is the 2015-2016 poet laureate. His poems have appeared in Elm Leaves Journal, Blue Earth Review, and Hobart, as well as other print and online journals.