There Is A Road

Published in Light Journal (Fall 2017)


“Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God.”

                                                                —Thorton Wilder, Our Town

There is a road,
on the outskirts of Arroyo Grande, California,
whose name makes me think of
the letter sent to Jane Crofut by her minister.

The name I won’t say—
as it is after a father of ten,
whose living descendants still fill the Valley and beyond.
Suffice it to say, it is an ancient name,
a Portuguese name, carried
across the Atlantic from the Azores
over a century ago.
Suffice it to say, it could be the name of
a thousand roads.

I want to mail a letter there,
to any of the tidy homes,
arranged on groomed lawns,
with swings and flower beds and
hand-painted mailboxes, and
address it like this:

“…” Road
Arroyo Grande, CA
Formerly a strawberry farm
Planted and harvested for 70 seasons
First by “…” and his wife, who arrived with nothing
Then their children and grandchildren
Until the bank took it over
And carved it up into lots
Taking everything
Even his name
For the road

See if the postman brings it, just the same.