Users Who Spiked
WHAT IS LEFT
It is the end of November. Wet, no snow
yet. They say
this place is a ghost town, but here I am,
sitting on the deck of the Lodge, surrounded
by a tamarack valley weighed down with wandering
clouds—trees speckled yellow. Quiet.
My blind dog, Dusty wears a jacket inside.
His muddy paws are tucked beneath blue merle fur.
The cemetery, a schoolhouse, a dance hall, and the church still stand. Domesticated
rabbits, spotted and black, stand out in Fall grass—both anticipate
the first frost of Winter.
Etched in the cool marble markers are names, and dates, and poetry—
eroded words covered in pale lichen. I press my fingers into the curves of letters,
making words from what is left for me to feel.
Young mothers, daughters, wives, and infants, cradled
in this valley. Souls that lived to see the Blue Mountain pines
It is the end of November. The innkeeper returns from Baker City.
The sun is setting somewhere beyond where I can see.
The fog dissipates, rising above the valley
into the overcast sky.
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