Friday, March 17, 2017

Laurel, MT

North side (NW end):
Driving into town,
past the tracks,
the smell of sulfur
hangs in the air.
Tall cigars,
stacked next to tall factories,
smoke themselves
into the sky.

South side (SW end):
The train has left
its fingerprints
riding along the ground.
The train has circled
the lake
waiting for salmon to return.
Blue collars stay blue collars
in the Laurel working end.
Grandfathers take their grandsons
fishing in an empty lake.
If we could find one,
Grandma will fry it up
when we get home.

East end:
Homes line the streets
separated by rocky alleys.
Alleys that connect the town
flowing through the homes.
These are the veins
of Laurel.

West end:
Tractor tires lay in
overgrown weeds.
Indentations mark a
faded diamond
where children still play
(as in 1953).
Saturday nights
we gather together
cheering Laurel's children.
No winners,
no losers,
just baseball.

Laurel sits in the middle,
beating life to its state.
Roads come and go,
but Laurel continues beating.
Early in the morning,
among the quiet trees,
you can hear it
if you close your eyes
and open your heart.

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