Drive down small-town streets
with pastel green lawns
and white-painted porches—
with treelined sidewalks
and no one you know.
Get out of your car.
Tiptoe to a window at dinner time.
Observe the family, good or bad,
maybe a smile and a song of grace,
maybe a troubling premonition
in the hard breaking of bread
or a knife scraping a porcelain plate.
You can only imagine
people whose lives you’ll never live,
a hurricane lamp on a side table,
and curtains bowed and tied.
A face turns toward you,
but there’s no way
to know what its eyes have seen.
You can only imagine
what it might be like
if you were someone else,
somewhere else.
You are born in one place
and live in one time,
trying to travel
in other directions,
searching for a way out
or a way in.

Donna M. Davis lives in central New York. Her work has appeared in four SCARS anthologies and five Slipstream Review anthologies, Raw Art Review, Comstock Review, Down in the Dirt, Stoneboat, Front Porch Review, Pudding, Ilya’s Honey, Muddy River Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Homestead Review, Burningwood Journal, and others.