Why I Love it Here on County Route 20

Even after all this time 33 years

(33 years!!!) I still can’t describe what here

feels like:  not just sky, or  white lilacs on the tree

next to the light yellow porch white lilacs every single year

not just the neighbor’s constant lawn mower even when there is no grass

or what night sounds like so many

songs I do not know songs I will never know once its dark

last night on the porch we were all having dinner when

John walked in to look at the paint on the ceiling in the living room

to admire his eggshell painting job and his friend George

came in too and there we all were

and John told us about the eight children in his family in the Bronx

96 year old father still good for one liners said John

and all of us were happy, on the porch

eating lamb chops and a big roasted cauliflower

in clear site of all those white lilacs

Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. I love the attention paid to the ordinary. It renders all extraordinary.
    I live on a County road, 18 years now. All around me is magical. No matter the time of year.
    Thanks for sharing your County Route 20.

  2. I particularly enjoy reading poems about your country living.
    We have what you have except for the neighbors.
    Aint got nobody to talk to in town and have to drive 40 minutes to be with friends.
    But we have lots of museums and galleries nearby.

  3. Your poem resonates with me.
    I grew up on County Hwy 123 in the Adirondacks
    Which may be the same as County Route 123
    Which we then called the Mountain Road
    And still do if you’re from there
    And then I left to see the civilized world and immediately
    Missed the hills and the green and the lake
    Which is actually a reservoir which New York maps listed
    As the Sacandaga Reservoir then and now lists as The Great
    Sacandaga Lake but we then called and still call the lake
    If you’re from there and if you’re from there
    It is the lake you will miss most of all.

  4. I do believe every blade of grass should be a tree. And every John Deere riding lawn mower should be dismantled so grown men could do something other than run around on them looking for lawn gigs. In spite of all of this I’ve really gotten into mowing my big- enough- lawn (bigger would kill me) with the gentle swish of an old time motor-less, gas-less, mower. And of course the neighbors laugh at me. ‘Poor thing’. Yet now I’m into the national obsession of straight lines on lawns watching for them. It’s a sport. I’d carry my new mower around if I could just to tidy up some places a little ragged that I see. I understand how people get into this thing—in the Spring. Yet– I still believe every blade of grass should be a tree because, after all, God is a Tree. Thanks Esther. Welcome to the wilderness i.e., anywhere outside NYC.

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