Hometown

I can’t believe I’m still here
in this town where I grew up.
There is the ghost of the old high school
torn down and brooding
beneath a Starbucks and a vitamin store.

The trees I staked
in the park by the lake
have grown huge.
The light is somehow
different now–
maybe happier to shine on newer things,
than to help me illuminate
the gauzy white room of memory.

The cannery where I seamed
a briney river of green beans
into gleaming metal hides,
and the railroad tracks we marooned a jeep on.
The lake we skinny dipped in at night
under the uncurious stars.

They are all here
and they are not here.
And the same is true for you.
And the same is true for me.

–Burl Whitman

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