Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Avenue of the Saints

Blizzard in the rearview
We’ve left where Frank and Jesse met their Match
Eddies and swales cross our path
A 2 inch tarantella of ice and caprice
Charles City, fifteen miles ahead
Plaything of the wind1

Sorting, sifting
A well-traveled path to destinations you’d
Not thought to seek
New experiences in old towns
History recorded on brown highway signs

We’re bound for Galesburg, where Lincoln and Douglas
Talked shop in ’58, a windswept prairie town
Where a prairie poet learned to cry over beautiful things,
Knowing no beautiful thing lasts2

Four hours ahead, Iowa 80 splatters neon to
The heavens, beckoning Peterbilts with
Hot showers and cold comfort
Past Herbert Hoover’s boyhood home

Whole damn thing seems like Hooverville

The boy’s dreams find focus
Tweaked in Buntrock Commons3, now borne
Downwind from Rock Island

The journey begins tomorrow
Three miles south of the Carl Sandburg Mall

1Cf. Carl Sandburg; in 1968, a tornado destroyed most of Charles City, Iowa, killing 13 people
2Sandburg, “Autumn Movement”
3The student center of St. Olaf College

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