Thermopolis, Wyoming

The mineral water swimming pool in
Thermopolis, Wyoming has a smooth gravel bottom
My little kid feet were delighted to learn that
The water tastes oily. People are shouting
Women are wearing bathing caps with big flowers
on them and men are in baggy trunks
My brothers and I splash around like new
spring frogs in the slippery gray water

Decades later my wife finds some family
postcards, long forgotten in her fathers
desk after he died. There is one card
from an aunt that is postmarked
Thermopolis, Wyoming 1937

She writes to her fiance. Why haven’t
you come out to join me? They were going
to start a life together, there beneath
the Bighorn range. She talks of the late
spring, the snowdrifts, the new town jail
The slow pace of her life drifts off the
page like mist from a blue Yellowstone
sulfur pool

The postcard was written in pencil
On the front is a drawing of the mineral
water pool. Men in long bathing suits
wearing mustaches. Women in longer bathing
clothes. The roads are ok now. I know they
are slow, darling. It took me three days
to get here from Laramie. Why haven’t you come?

4 responses to “Thermopolis, Wyoming

  1. Another fine poem! I like the detail about the woman abandoned by her fiancé. Don’t remember much about Thermopolis . >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alan Shusterman

    The imagery touches me all over. Slippery times in the pool (thanks for making the water slippery). Mist. Jail. A longing heart writing in pencil. Time and memory shimmering before our eyes. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Craig Brandis (aka Burl Whitman)

    One of the joys of doing this is hearing from readers and learning that what you wanted to put on the page has come alive again in the mind of an attentive reader. Thanks Alan!

    Like

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