Waking in a Strange House
This morning, my clock flashes mid-life
in big red numbers. I dress in sweats and step
outside into damp Ohio, cold air clinging to me
like the childhood I drag with me all my life.
On the edge of town, the old coal tipple
crumbles in the flames of goldenrod and sumac.
Even Sunday Creek has a condemned look.
With the innocent faces of simpletons, cows
drink icy, yellow water from sandstone spits
cut a little thinner every year. Rousted by the echo
of gunshots, deer disappear into forests
thick with scrub oaks and stunted pines. What is left
of the town sits like a cinder in a lush valley
that once choked with smoke before the state
reclaimed it. I dont know anyone here anymore.
Back at the house, I stoke the dying fire,
take my pills, and dress for one more funeral.