.....Like many mornings, I got up and drove to a small town in Arizona to work up an estimate for asbestos and lead removal from some buildings prior to demolition. The town has long been mostly empty with many dilapidated buildings and many of the rest being bought by the government to expand the freeway. Walking through these houses always smells the same, always looks the same and always evokes some strong feelings in me. While this was a quick effort, I think it begins to cover some of the feelings.
The dusty hue of the morning sky always settled lightly in Picacho
Cracker box square, the houses long left untended….contents strewn
The smell of rotting wood and moldering plaster, every one the same
Wading through clothes that never made the move, knee deep in panties
Mommy, where are we going?
Look at her eyes, the same color as the dusty morning
Mommy, what about Duke?
A hope and a prayer that the car starts this one last time
The lilt of the Mourning Dove is never soothing, not in Picacho
When you arrive or when you leave the coo is the same
Neither welcoming or desperate, just the sound of suffering
A knowing that when the souls have moved on, the silence takes no prisoners
Daddy, where will we stay?
The shape of his eyes match the dove’s cries precisely
Daddy, what about Teddy?
A shame that never flowers into the sharpness of resentment….for her sake
A better life may wait in the next town, a town that’s not Picacho
But only with help from someone who knows without doubt
What it is like to be human and temporarily misplaced
Picacho was their one true love, left for now to fend for herself