I wasn’t lying when I said I like it here
in this gritty pretty town.
Sure, many people around
float dangerously close to despair,
flatten all expression from their eyes-
I’ve stood behind them at the grocery store
as they counted out cash
for cigarettes and dog food.
I smiled at the cashier when it came my turn,
paid for my rubber toilet plunger
with my own exhausted,
wrinkled one dollar bills.
There are hardships in any town,
the beat-down of life, the plumbing,
the mud, the dry cough of the homeless man
sitting on a stone half-hidden
by weedy bushes, the graffiti slogans.
(Some lovely philosophies,
some spit and drips and anger.)
And sure, someone stole our birdfeeder.
Sure, I’m adrift and unemployed.
But the spring comes running into puddles
as I walk across the railroad tracks,
and my head is overflowing with poetry.