October 2, 2005

For Prince George Citizens by Rob Budde

close to
cottonwood siphons, traveled
in the blood valley and lakes
they stay where bills dissolve
and families of mergansers
reform from them

the air is a cipher;
the sidewalks crack with those already left

how a river might slice through
your heart as it outlasts its function—that affinity
to the sculptured moose with sunglasses,
the gargoyles of too much beer,
northern hardware holding on

the welcome here--the pick-up
pulls up exhausted holding the newspaper headline high:
the big men are coming to town tomorrow
and the streets are blocked with living

lettering on the old diner still in relief
proclaims that moss is filling our lungs
sucking out the beloved toxins without our knowing

you see, the going back is hardest, wheels
on the future paddle past the bank,
trust in disbelief and the way stones float

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