Hope is a town quarried from easily
worked sandstone. First, a general store
selling button candy, and dry goods
then a black-aired salon that gathered
like a compass, and then the architect
built the two-story hotel. This is before
the train drew a silver line between product
and the deliveries made possible by
the Sausalito Ferry.
when the chorus of frogs still sang from
Salmon Creek, three men named James were
gifted the land by General Vallejo
and they built a sawmill on the creek's stony jaw.
It's a story that often ends in flame:
three men drunk on land, red-faced, chest to chest
over the names written on the deed to the mill
Instead of fire, one of the James saws the mill
in two, splitting the new wood right down the middle.
But, even hope, like a field of sleepy-headed snapdragons,
can be grown from this, and keep coming back Spring after Spring after Spring.