unmarked by county lines . . .
Noon. Steam rises from the road, rainwater wet.
The odor of pickle brine is heavy in the air,
the dark wood vats, pickles and cobwebs floating . . .
Across the road the old cemetery, its black iron fence, graves
and the grass burnt brittle by the summer sun.
The air after a storm. Trees upturned, roots
quivering. Wires crackling across the ground.
The telephones ringing.
The old wallpaper, its roses
stained and the wall remembering its own history
at night when the people sat on the porches
counting the cars and saying, “This is enough,” or saying,
“Nothing is ever enough . . .”
The railroad station’s floors are spit-stained,
dark with chewing tobacco.
The projector in the ZEBULON Picture Show is still.
In the window of the library a sign:
HITCH YOUR WAGON TO A STAR.
SUMMER READING TAKES YOU FAR. And strings
from children’s names to silver stars.