More Distant Recollections of the NYer

by T. Merrill

I only saw them twice a year, courtesy of Ed,
my ever-cordial dentist in Harvard Square,
whose drill-room window framed some famous
ivy halls, and lent the place
its only other touch of haut decor.

I only took a look because they were there,
adorning a wooden shelf that ran beneath
a somewhat less illustrious window-scene
in an anteroom that featured little else
but chairs, and the hope of a key to the can.

I always browsed their indices of titles
for the two, or sometimes three per issue
with "Poem" printed beside them, and then
incuriously would riffle past the scads
of waxy prose direct to the luxury items,

that magnanimous aforesaid trio (or fewer) provided,
which I would successively scan. I remember
liking the typeface, although the blinding
glare I'm seeing now on those glossy pages
may just be a trick of an unretentive mind.

You can at least be sure that one was signed
Amy Clampitt. I remember them all
as nicely enough composed and seeming
not too shabby, as upscale word-art goes.
And I guess it was nice enough having

something to twiddle away the time
until Ed's plump hygienist
would pop out announcing she was ready
to rescue me from my restless studies,
and brighten my smile.