Today's poem is by Frank Gallimore

Since You've Gone

Let's not decorate it. Someone
    sickened fast,
    passed without complaint
while the town, less than compliant,
    forgot to die.
Frost bit the crops in half
and the last job for miles went to gut
    the steel assemblies of the cannery.
Tractors sank no-wheeled,
and to punctuate the cliché
    of a straw hat on a fence,
the church grew in my window
and rats dozed in a bulldozed bed.

    You know what prospered
ran on the fumes of its nostalgia,
what came with the territory
    as diggers lunged

half into and out of
    their graves like peekaboos.
All condolences are out of date,
    illegible as the freehand
of unused telephone wires.
Church bells pealed and repealed
    to no effect. Remember?
Hum this until the whole tune
    comes back.
The corral's fallow
and we can still see nobody's mares
    set loose some miles
    outside a gate undone in Omaha.

Copyright © 2009 Frank Gallimore All rights reserved
from Cimarron Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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