Friday Poem

Bow City

First abandoned was the telegraph.
(The railway had found a straighter course).
The silos emptied. The bank foreclosed itself.
The last live bullet soothed the last lame horse.
When the saloon snuck out, so did its drunk,
followed by his shadow constable
who faded like a red serge into fable.
Even the cemetery, somehow, shrunk.
No one noticed the cartographer
paint over them a gloss of sand. One day
the silence spooked the magpies from their perch.
Time, in geese’s arrows, flew away,
and the town’s two founders disappeared together,
as they’d come: the whorehouse and the church.

by Michael Lavers
from 32 Poems, Fall/Winter 2013