Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 17: Freestone

For today's prompt, we had to write about the word "hope" as a topic, but we also had to use as many of another list of words randomly throughout the poem.  As the month goes on, I have drifted back to writing about the history of Sonoma County.  Today's poem is about Freestone, the town I live closest too and a place that's been transformed dramatically just in the time that I've known it, but even more so from it's earliest history when three men named James built a sawmill there.  Here is my draft:

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.
                                 Years before
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.

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