Edges of Middletown

  1. Thanksgiving: raw light skims
  2. a boarded dairy’s tin rooves.
  3. Breath steaming, we walk cow paths,
  4. horse-track, pastures they’re selling.
  5. I feel dumb, finding this field, the one
  6. we made our ritual of tramping through
  7. was never ours to make memories in.
  8. Evelyn’s neighbors are divorcing. The farm’s sold.
  9. Developers already plan tract houses.
  10. No one to blame, she says, seeming to settle early
  11. not to miss hawthorns, milkweeds, pine—
  12. trees we hung our years on.
  13. She’s half-dismissive, half- accepting
  14. that all good views get built up in the end.
  15. Perhaps she’s wiser, holding grief at bay.
  16. Opened up, a pain like that can eat me—
  17. I think what I won’t see again—
  18. shadows, snow snagging brambles,
  19. briars red and heavy-laden.
  20. The time as someone else I paused there.
  21. The not-quite frozen stream I heard beneath them.