John Stetson


The Reynolds Library


Poetry society meeting exercise 05/08/08

In the small town up the road from the farm where I grew up,
the library was in the town hall,
which was also the fire station,
which was also the jail house,
and later the Plumber’s place.

It was a friendly place.
The Boy Scouts met there.
They had all the Hardy Boys books.
And a hardy lot of boys, but no nooks.
Just one room with a table in the middle.

One year the oldest bible school class
convened there when the church was full.
Wyatt Earp, son of the Preacher, and a direct descendant,
contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever at scout camp.
I met him there.

There was a cupola which held the fire siren,
which was also the noon whistle in town.

Old Bill Westphal lived in the basement jail cell.
We saw him through the casement window, while at the scout meeting,
doing things that violated the scout oath.
But his scouting days had long since passed.

In the summer, while I’m at the big church,
where my sons go to scouts…
many miles and years from there,
I think of it.

And just tonight, while I’m at the poetry session
with my daughters at the big city library…
it comes back to me.

I’d like to go back to it.

I’d take my family.

That’d be a Father’s Day!

Submitted: Monday, March 03, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, March 05, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I took two of my daughter's to a local library for the monthly meeting, open to all, because my oldest daughter was interested. My youngest daughter also decided to participate and so I sat in the room with them. The leader, a published local poet, laid out the themes for the evening exercise (something we could see in the room) and prevailed upon me to participate also.

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