Friday, October 21, 2016

Bones of Drowned Homes

At Heron Lake Golf Course we walked over the bones of drowned homes

Vanport was a twenty-four hour city, working shift upon shift

Vanport was built overnight complete with schools and libraries

The sloughs that ran through it were full of turtles, bullfrogs, and garter snakes

Joe’s market sold peanuts out of vending machines

So many people come here and don’t know they’re walking on bones

Someone said garter snakes would grow legs in warm water
so they caught enough to fill a washtub
but all the garter snakes drowned

There was a skull in the peanut vending machine

The water was waist-deep and houses floated off their foundations

People struggled hand in hand

Children slept on army cots at Ockley Green Grade School
and moved on to whatever homes they could find
(because black people couldn't buy homes in most of the city)

All the garter snakes drowned

So many people move here and don't know they're walking on bones

Today we walked over the bones of drowned homes
and the sky was stitched across with wings of geese.

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

1 comment:

Martin Kloess said...

poignant truth