Chesapeake Thirst

September 16, 1992|By Hannah Strauss

Ginny and Misha still streak in, down Light Street to Lombard to this house at the corner, my red house on Hollins.

I know when they're coming. Ginny calls first from Ruxton

to say they are coming, and I hear her stone cottage just

poking its windows up over her boxwoods, just

clearing its walkway through bushy hydrangeas

just to the hillside's glissando of ferns.

To my tall house on Hollins, my fine city manor,

she'll call first from Ruxton and in 14 smooth minutes

I'll shepherd Lou Labrador back to the kitchen and

slide five black music stands into the den, and Misha and Ginny

will park at my curbside and step up to the front door with

two sleek saxophones. My girl will blow clarinet and

my boy will blow tenor, and the bass man from Pratt Street

will stroll in by eight with a six-pack of sheet music,

crumply old lyrics with spot notes and rhythms,

smoky old lyrics, them deep river blues.

My house on Hollins will drink our tall music

up long, long, tall glass panes, tall stairs in the hall.

My tall heavy bookcase will reach for the high notes and

reach for those lyrics, those summer night lyrics.

When Ginny and Misha drive intown from Ruxton

Dmy brick house on Hollins will walk in the city, a fine city outing

along the hot pavements clear to the waterfront,

Baltimore's bay.

Some clean tourist harbor has docked with a new breeze,

but my house will sail out to the edge of the bay:

see, my house on Hollins lives here in the city

where a tall house can hear its own route to the bay.

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