Somewhere In Middle America... (III)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
A selection from a series of poems about Middle America.

Submitted: October 30, 2012

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Submitted: October 30, 2012



...there’s a kid writing a poem about a place he’s never been.
And something tells me he can’t be wrong in doing so!

Certain poems simply must be written, he thinks,
remembering Kenora, Ontario. Though the details

may have escaped him, he could have suffered sunburn,
perhaps so bad it left his shoulders infected

with freckles, or he could have run into a friend from grade school,
Gregory Hamilton, who did indeed have a good amount of freckles,

and either way he’d associate the city with the speck of color on his skin.
Then again, it’s up to him. He might be on his way now

from Indiana, dodging the hail and current reports of a war
in Vietnam he’ll refuse to fight. Or it may be snowing

in the present when the bus his parents bought him breaks down
a mile outside the city. Then walking, his head down in the white-

storm, he almost looses his head to the white sign
that reads Kenora, and the city would bring to mind

his family and the weather. Either way he wouldn’t remember
the forecast in the Kenora Daily Miner and News

because he could never get past the front page boasting
that preposterous title, or he was too young to be reading a newspaper,

or he was distracted by the cleanliness of the streets.
Then again, he was probably distracted by the llamas riding unicycles,

the rainbows, and the lack of mustard. And this being a vacation
in the mind, he’d realize his hatred for yellow condiments

was a deeply-rooted issue, a stunted seed buried in his fertile subconscious.

The poet learns early on--

these are the seeds planted by our fathers.

These are the seeds, watered by our lovers.

We nourish the soil with water from a can filled with places like Kenora and Saigon,
and run from places like Indiana, no matter how slow the bus,

to find the Mustard Capitol of the World, wherever it may be.

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