Small Town Pantoum
Long winter nights, negative-fifteen wind chills
and snow drifts threading themselves over hills
and through single-lane streets in attempt to sew
this town shut in an endless sheet of white.
Snow drifts thread themselves under Amish wagons
and decade-old Ford trucks, tire studs stripped bare.
This town is stuck in an endless white: Out of work,
Out of hope. The potato harvest provides less and less
each year and farmers, in their rusted-out trucks and bald tires,
grow weary when fixing their tractor heads and bale lifts,
out of hope that the next season might give a little more.
Kids like Chris or Jim come out of high school and don’t
hesitate to leave, unwilling to help their folks fix what’s broken.
People like Chris don’t want to get stuck here another year,
kids in high school like Jim’s brother want more than empty
barns and abandoned mills. They don’t want to just get drunk
on moonshine every night at one a.m., getting stuck in small
ditches by the elementary school after hours of doing donuts.
They want to forget about McCain’s and Allen’s Coffee Brandy,
They don’t want to think about coming home, because home
is just a sinking town that falls deeper into the long winter
nights and negative-fifteen-degree wind chills. They just want
to drive away, avoid the horseshit and potholes on Center Street
and race down the single-lane roads like it was their first time.
By Tyler Gadaire
A native of Aroostook County in Maine, Tyler Gadaire is a 23-year-old graduate of the Univ. of Maine Farmington’s Creative Writing and English program. Tyler’s poetry has been published in Z-Publishing’s Emerging Writer Series, Asterism and Eunoia Review. Tyler is currently working on a draft of his first poetry chapbook.