Rural

It is irritating to recall my hometown.
Like a cause and effect puzzle–
Where were you when, and then
What happened?
Rural Ohio isn’t much to discuss.
It is open fields of soy and sod,
It is gamesmanship with guns.
It is a small child,
Who looks younger than his age,
Learning to shave at 12
And dance at 16.
My hometown remains unchanged
Through it all.
The skies reach far
But they can’t see the corpses.

Ohio is filled with the dead,
My dead.
It is my Father fast asleep
With his right hand resting in
The sign for I Love You.
It is my mother and her tears
And our laughter through it all.
Ohio is a fading memory,
An outline of a house
With captions on its lawn.

Chatham was and is a ghost
Of some shortened depiction of sawdust and grit.
It is people speaking with southern accents.
Brother!
We have no accent,
It is studied.
It is true.
But talk like you want to.

Chatham is my classmates whispering.
Do not debase my struggle
Even if you can’t see it.
My struggle reaches back through Chatham, Ohio
And into infinity.
My struggle pulls me forward
Through clouds
Of pot smoke
And
Daily hits of
Zyprexa.
My struggle is the
Poles of the mind
Twisted from nights spent alone.
My struggle is a lasting faith
Forever left to be undone.

Ohio, you are cold and ancient.
Your politics resign
To be just a flickering of caustic wit
Breathless and benign.
Ohio, you make each return
A drift through the pathetic.
And yet with family still there,
Enriching Ohio’s present,
I visit,
And stare into Chippewa Lake
Until it quivers.

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