A Glance Back
My city stretches toward the sky
clock hands at the witching hour.
Amusement excused himself for a drink.
This was not his first.
He stopped counting after the war.
We thought it polite to play along.
When the flag dropped
like a wilting azalea,
mother sighed a steam engine
into our bellies. It burned up
in the wanting. Ghosts of before
begged our worship.
In ten thousand years, what bile
will life bleed from cemeteries?
Will it blue and green this place
Mountain ancestors recognize my city,
her face surrendering to sleep.
She dreams she is a forest,
or at least a town proud of the skins
it has shed.
This poem originally appeared in Shoots and Vines. It is also included in The Mattress Parlor, Colin's first full-length collection of poetry (Scribble Fire Press, 2011).