I’m moving kind of quickly to get to my plans in Minnesota, just knocking out the state-line signs…
(Imagine Illinois here too. There was no sign where I crossed)
And we’ve had a few walks and put some of Ritchey’s ashes into a waterway in each state…
But mostly we’re just moving right along.
In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.
All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home,
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.
Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.
(from the Poetry Foundation.)
In honor of James Wright, I drove through Martins Ferry as I headed west from Pittsburgh.