Gabriel Fried

The Places We Knew Not to Go as Children

The places we knew not to go as children
we went anyway. Something in the jag
and shimmer of them herded us. Something
in their surfaces enchanted us. Something
seeming sticky. The bog that bores into
the orchard like decay into a tooth glistens
like a ball field with algae. We walk on
floorboards in the hayloft, daring loosened
planks to flip us down to cement floors.
We return to the troubling shack out
in the woods, to its mattress and paddle.
We listen to the murmurs of the unmarked
well, shining like a wound amid the field,
echoing, It is safe, it is safe as houses.



"The Places We Knew Not to Go as Children" is reprinted from Making the New Lamb Take (2007) by permission of Sarabande Books.