Variations on Vermont

Variations on Vermont

On the day of the advisory board meeting,

I walk into the Norwich Inn

mid-day, mid-week, mid-January

Portraits of once- important men adorn the walls

Once-important men fill the tables of the restaurant,

with their fine hats,

their fine coats,

their fine wives,

their fine compatriots

White-haired, well-bred

Out for lunch on a winter day.


“It’s different world I return to in Barre

where struggling young parents scream at each other

outside the school doors,

arriving  in fleece pajamas

to pick up their kids

Making ends meet is a major struggle

School is the place of consistency

with free meals and

caring adults committed to helping each child

be and become

the important person

he or she is


Vermont is a varied place, to be sure.


One thought on “Variations on Vermont

  1. Karen, I love the contrast between the first stanza and the second. I also love that the the people (men) in the first stanza are all just portraits — pictures — not actual, real live people. The second stanza describes real human beings with real lives and personalities and troubles. Love it.


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