North Adams In February

25 Feb

I. February

The season and the song are gone,
a witness in the window despairs,
rocks in her shoes, quotations, the blues...
counting by odd numbers, the wild hairs.

Missing the exuberance of biting Massachusetts chill,
boots in bright snow, mortgage at the nape of the hill.

Ours was a quick visit. Driving into icy nights,
and ink-stained maps, stowing away in New York,
embracing the inn, next morning's sun.

Back into wintry gears of the renegade,
we made our way into the lands of former textile glory,
past Great Barrington, a picture perfect town
no Hollywood set could capture, past
myths and old rumors of Alice's Restaurant
pitched a few miles in low county Stockbridge.

Snowline and map legends urged us forward,
up beyond the old brittle city of Pittsfield,
rusty industrial center of an old patriotic land
still wiping the nostrils of a certain strain
of American brave named the Berkshires.

Money had been here, and money was still
a welcomed citizen, born of mountains and streams,
horns of plenty, the rugged spirit, the artful eye.

It was obvious as we pulled into South Adams,
and a few miles further into Adams proper
that south county had given way to its poor
relations, and the songs of old mills now silent.

But bold Yankee country to this bleak southerner
was more than a romantic notion and a geographic
marvel bejeweled in the frosty hands of nature...

That those two words, Yankee and Southerner,
could still make themselves viscerally known,
not as antiquated charms in the haze of memory,
but as real challenges in the cost of living debates
patent services soon revealed one wink at a time.

II. North Adams

(to be continued)

© 2008 - 2013, Gabriel Thy. All rights reserved.

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