from White River Junction

6. Rilke believed in angels, after all

But I believe only in the tousled willow tree,

the lamp plugged into a loose outlet,

this galaxy of dandelions.

I say desire is a fire along the highway.

I say desire is a snowed-in house.

We are grains of sand and an agate is as rare

as an unbroken sand dollar.

I should know.  I've been combing the beach for years.

Even the room is an advertisement.

"Earn Free Nights."  Free of what?

This is how White River Junction got its name:

not because it is the junction of two rivers,

but because it was a junction of railroads.

Now it's a junction of interstates.

Some towns never change.

Now it is a town where the boys get in fistfights

over prom dates.

Now it is a town where the hospital is the biggest employer.

Now it is a town owned by absentee landlords.

Now it is the mouth of the Ottauquechee River.

Now you realize, so are you.

You who never change.

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