Saturday, June 27, 2009

Poem- Old Town

Okay, so this is the poem I submitted to Tin House magazine. It got rejected, but I still like it.

my town was living
a breathing giant,
of sweat, determination and greed
and the thud of miner's stakes
echoed the crash of coins
that fell into grasping hands
It was was booming
with brick-lined streets
and copper hopes
that forgot to stop and breathe.
Because now my town
is dying
The streets are barren
the bricks are broken
quiet snow fills the air
while desperation seeps around
every corner
Hoping to catch you
with your copper dreams
and hollow hopes.

It's about the town I used to live in, Calumet, MI. This isn't a knock on the town. I was showing it to one of my friends from up there and they interpreted it as making fun or criticizing Calumet. Not at all. I loved growing up in the Copper Country. I had a fantastic childhood rambling through the woods and exploring the ponds and rivers that dotted my neighborhood. But, eventually, you grow up, and as an adult, Calumet doesn't have a lot of opportunities. It relies heavily on tourism from it's former glory days during the copper mining boom. The Copper country and the Keweenaw is literally littered with ghost towns from copper mining. Calumet is still a town, it still has people and schools, libraries and stores, but it can feel desolate and isolated, cut off from opportunity.

1 comment:

  1. I like the poem. Noticed a few grammar errors, but I'm assuming that they're from transcribing onto the blog. Thanks for sharing.