Sunday, June 20, 2021

It's the Little Towns I Like by Thomas Lux

It's the Little Towns I Like

It’s the little towns I like 
with their little mills making ratchets 
and stanchions, elastic web, 
spindles, you 
name it. I like them in New England, 
America, particularly-providing 
bad jobs good enough to live on, to live in 
families even: kindergarten, 
church suppers, beach umbrellas ... The towns 
are real, so fragile in their loneliness 
a flood could come along 
(and floods have) and cut them in two, 
in half. There is no mayor, 
the town council’s not prepared 
for this, three of the four policemen 
are stranded on their roofs ... and it doesn’t stop 
raining. The mountain 
is so thick with water parts of it just slide 
down on the heifers—soggy, suicidal— 
in the pastures below. It rains, it rains 
in these towns and, because 
there’s no other way, your father gets in a rowboat 
so he can go to work.

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