We Could Take the A Train to Far Rockaway
Sylvia Manning

Discover among other things if any mother there still knows
the songs they sang to her when she was young

if any father knows how early rhythm matters
a baby’s whole life long, rockaway steady rhythm
more than even what’s sung

like the A train matters more than for today’s travel
farther into mid-town.  Don’t the syllables themselves
make you need to remember the jazz line?
Remember another time, your own far rockaway
dream clime where you steadily rock in rhythm,

training your heart to trust and wait for the gift of beat?
Plus song when we reach a certain destination?
And we reach it every time, every time, all together
on the A train, to Far Rockaway.
We need to take it.

From Parting Gifts, winter 2001