Friday, January 31, 2014

Roof over Faux Ozarks


The blue tarp and the drop ceiling battle it out,
each struggling for the right to be called
the true sky, each daring the other to lean down and kiss
the papier mache mountain range that rises above
the electric train set in the flooded basement.
The water hasn’t risen over the levees yet,
The water tower stands dry above the town.
The power lines, the bijou marquee,
the A &P, the horse drawn wagons waiting 
patiently at the crossings, all of them are still dry.
I’ve been renting a room in Mrs. Colescotts’ boarding house
at he corner of Prohibition and Distress, both of which end
in cul-de-sacs less than a painted gray block away.
Nights I stroll through the half lit hamlet,
wishing the flood waters would drop
or that someone upstairs would get around 
to building a saloon already.
I stand in the middle of the painted river, step on the heads
Of the painted fish, sit in the shade
of a sponge tree. One evening, inside one of the homes
I find a tiny electric train set and wonder if there
is an even tinier version of me standing at the base of one
of those pipsqueak peaks. I wave but don’t notice
any of the figures wave back.

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