A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
“Das ist kein Amerika,” my mother told me
Uncle Eddie would say after just a few weeks
in Jersey, “Das ist Fehlerika!” Ein Fehler—mistake—
land of mistake. Bad decision. Error. Misstep.
Wrong turn. Dead end. Comma
splice. Run on sentence. Fumble
words—the ball. Drop the ball;
drop the night class. Wrong bus. Wrong
stop. Wrong neighborhood. Wrong country.
Failure. Ein Fehler. “Das ist kein Amerika.”
My uncle died young, a mistake.
He made an error and he died.
Copyright 2015 John Hoppenthaler.
From Domestic Garden (Carnegie Mellon). Reprinted by permission of the author.