Thursday, March 20, 2008

Today's poem - It's The Little Towns I Like by Thomas Lux


It's The Little Towns I Like
by Thomas Lux

It's the little towns I like,
with their little mills making ratchets
and stanchions, elastic web,
spindles, you
name it. I like them in New England,
America, particularly - providing
bad jobs good enough to live on, to live in
families even: kindergarten,
church suppers, beach umbrellas ...The towns
are real, so fragile in their loneliness
a flood could come along
(and floods have) and cut them in two,
in half. There is no mayor,
the town council's not prepared
for this, three of the four policemen
are stranded on their roofs ... and it doesn't stop
raining. The mountain
is so thick with water, parts of it just slide
down on the heifers - soggy, suicidal -
in the pastures below. It rains, it rains
in these towns and, because
there's no other way, your father gets in a rowboat
so he can go to work.

5 comments:

  1. What a good poem. It pretty much nails small town New England life, doesn't it?

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  2. It does, and though some may read it as negative, I, too, like those little towns, and especially the mill towns which are disappearing so very fast.

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  3. We saw quite a few of those 'little towns' in New England back in '96 and this poem is so evocative of them. I just thought the whole region beautiful.

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  4. I am sure that this poem strikes a chord with several places here in Southern Indiana this week as we have had torrential rains. I have seen where people park their cars on high ground close to a highway and row a boat to and from their vehicle.

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  5. I loved this. Tom will be here in May. I haven't read any of his work yet. I'd better get busy!

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