Early History of a Writer
When a child of four or five,
I would sit beside the rubber plant at night
if unable to sleep;
the stiff starched curtain pushed aside.
The lights were out in the stores
and the street, in spite of the arc-lamps,
dark and still.
After a while the trolley wire would begin to hum and sing
in the darkness
until the trolley itself rushed past,
ablaze with light.
at the periphery of such wonder
I would lean back in the chair
to wait patiently for the next car.
Return to By the Well of Living and Seeing and The Fifth Book of the Maccabees
POEMS 1918-1975: THE COMPLETE POEMS OF CHARLES REZNIKOFF Copyright © 1977
by Marie Syrkin Reznikoff and reprinted with the permission of Black Sparrow Press.