‘Leaving Lowell . . .’ by Tom Sexton

From the Pacific Rim and the richardhowe.com western desk comes a new poem by Tom Sexton, occupier of poetry precincts on both coasts of America and distinguished alumnus of Lowell High School. — PM


Leaving Lowell, Mass. for San Francisco, 1915, a Postcard

Standing beside Mayor Murphy on the steps

of City Hall, they seem too young to shave:

the Cohens, Ellie and Max, and their friend

Max Greenberg. They will soon leave Lowell’s

towering smokestacks behind to begin

their long trek west to  San Francisco.

Did they sleep beside the peddler’s cart

that holds the postcards they hoped to sell

to finance their dream of owning a store?


This postcard is all that is left of their quest.

Did a snowstorm trap them in the Rockies?

Did they break bread with the wrong people

or fall out and never speak to each other again?

Perhaps a snake wrapped itself around an axle.

Let us hope they reached the top of Nob Hill at dawn

with the sun touching their shoulders like a shawl.


—Tom Sexton (c) 2014

One Response to ‘Leaving Lowell . . .’ by Tom Sexton

  1. EileenL says:

    So they all came back to Lowell. I think they never made it to San Francisco. In Lowell they lived their lives in Lowell as an electrician, a junk dealer (from 1940 census) and a realtor. More to come…