I have departed many places.
The first seven were involuntary.
My parents decided we would leave
Havre de Grace and Silver Spring, Md.;
Avenue P and 20th Avenue in Brooklyn;
West Haven, Conn.;
Each new place a new possibility,
but each new place had new rules and customs,
new ways to pronounce common words,
new ways for me to be a newcomer, alone.
Does anyone remember my name?
I departed Gladwyne, Pa., voluntarily and with glee,
to leave home and be on my own was my goal.
I departed college twice, voluntarily.
Settled in New York City, again my goal.
I departed many jobs, voluntarily.
Here I've lived, in the same apartment,
for 45 years. I will live here, I hope, until,
involuntarily, I depart this world.