Gloom Town

By Phil Huffy

 

On the morning of the Fourth,

dismal Main Street resembles its old self for a bit

as an animated presence transforms

its customarily derelict appearance.

 

Who doesn’t want to see the parade,

the fire trucks and wait to sample

flagrantly red hot dogs

served courtesy of the Knights of Columbus?

 

But the hopeless, unstoppable

march of progress in another direction

is starkly apparent.

 

The parade’s annual route,

briefly populated by cheerful throngs,

will proceed through a shabby corridor

of empty storefronts with tired paint,

where once a vibrant commerce had transpired.

 

Only a few businesses remain,

most on the lowest rungs

of commercial enterprise.

 

It has been years since mill workers and tradesmen,

thriving on shift work and overtime, bought boats

and bikes and snowmobiles with relative ease.

 

In those past glorious days they had gathered,

talking of decks and camps and better trucks

while pondering a future as bright and happy

as the holiday itself.

 

first published by Fourth & Sycamore

On the morning of the Fourth,

dismal Main Street resembles its old self for a bit

as an animated presence transforms

its customarily derelict appearance.

 

Who doesn’t want to see the parade,

the fire trucks and wait to sample

flagrantly red hot dogs

served courtesy of the Knights of Columbus?

 

But the hopeless, unstoppable

march of progress in another direction

is starkly apparent.

 

The parade’s annual route,

briefly populated by cheerful throngs,

will proceed through a shabby corridor

of empty storefronts with tired paint,

where once a vibrant commerce had transpired.

 

Only a few businesses remain,

most on the lowest rungs

of commercial enterprise.

 

It has been years since mill workers and tradesmen,

thriving on shift work and overtime, bought boats

and bikes and snowmobiles with relative ease.

 

In those past glorious days they had gathered,

talking of decks and camps and better trucks

while pondering a future as bright and happy

as the holiday itself.

 

First published by Fourth & Sycamore

 

Phil Huffy had a long career doing something else entirely.  Now he writes all manner of short pieces at his kitchen table in upstate New York.  Publications for 2019 will include  Gravel, Raw Dog Press, Hedge Apple and Orchards Poetry Review.

 

 

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Author: authorbios

The literary journal dedicated only to author bios.

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