Sean Devine – Two Poems – 3

 Where I’m From
by Sean Devine

Growing up I could pull the top 
drawer of my dresser part-way out,
stick my finger through a hole from
the outside, touch rough cotton shirts.

The bullet that made this hole came 
from the gun of a deranged 
woman as the police removed
her from her apartment. It passed

through the bars of my crib, through the 
dresser’s pressed board, coming to rest
between cloth diapers. My daughter, 
who has never had a gun pointed 

at her, asked what happened to the
woman. You’re missing the point, I
said, so much depends on making
sure it all lines up correctly
.

The Lucky Ones
by Sean Devine

That last night in the apartment we shared
in New Jersey, I listened to you purge.
You said you would kill yourself if you were
not famous by forty. On the drive to
Ann Arbor to start your MFA, we 
watched a road crew pave over the carcass 
of a deer. You said Li Young Lee reneged  
on his poet-in-residence contract
after a premonition of his death.  
Bill Matthews would be taking his place. Now
forty-five, you have never published a 
poem. Bill Matthews died four months after 
your graduation. How were we to know
that we were the lucky ones after all?

Sean Devine is a Massachusetts native who now lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.  He is employed as the Director of Secondary Education, a title that sounds far more glamorous than it is, at a school district in Morris county. Sean’s work will appear in the upcoming volume of Euphony.