La Vita Nuova

by David R. Cravens

just off Owls Bend of Current River
in nineteen seventy-seven
Henry Gore was the last living soul
still on Blair Creek
where he’d stepped off his porch
to drink from the same spring
for seventy-four years—
and I have a coffee cup
I’d left in the sink of my old cabin
a couple rivers over
with dishes from my grandmother—
this was back in ninety-four
before I foreclosed
went back to college
worked through three girlfriends
seventeen jobs
traveled the world—
just back from Italy
where dying in the home you were born
is still not that uncommon
I floated down to my old place
tied my boat to the dock
hacked my way through heavy brush
and found my antique dishes
waiting as I’d left them eleven years before
(save for the mouse shit and spiders)
and on the way back I stopped
rinsed the cup in a spring
filled it and drank
wondering all the while who’d said:
“you can never go home”
and I remember thinking
that it must have been an American

David Cravens's picture

David R. Cravens was born in Saint Louis and raised in Farmington, Missouri. He received his undergraduate degree in philosophy at the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2001 during which he spent a semester in West Africa studying eastern philosophy. Afterward, he attended Hall’s Dive School in the Florida Keys and worked as a Scuba-diving instructor in the Bahamas, the Turneffe Islands of Belize, and the Channel Islands of Southern California. He is a member of Saint Louis Area Mensa; the National Eagle Scout Association; The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi; The National Scholars Honor Society of Magna Cum Laude; and the International English Honors Society of Sigma Tau Delta. He was the winner of the 2008 Saint Petersburg Review Prize in Poetry, and in 2009 he graduated with his master’s degree in English literature from Southeast Missouri State University, and was a finalist for Ohio State University’s The Journal William Allen Creative Nonfiction Contest. He is currently an adjunct Professor of English Studies for Central Methodist University as well as an English Instructor at Mineral Area College where he teaches literature and composition. He is presently working on a novel about guerrilla warfare in Southeast Missouri during the American Civil War, and plans to pursue his PhD in English literature and creative writing.

Last updated February 10, 2012