Another catch-up poem.
The day 23 prompt at Poetic Asides was “write a history poem.” This was irresistible to someone as big on history as I am, but as so often happens, I couldn’t hone in on one angle. I got to thinking about my recent trip with Diamondqueen and how often we saw signs for one “historical” town or another. I questioned how they were defining “historical” and wound up making these towns the subject of my poem:
Technically they’re not lying,
all those little towns with signs saying
“Welcome to Historic Wherever.”
Everyone and everything has a history,
but that doesn’t mean every burgh
is worth a side trip, or even a pause.
Some can claim a famous person
was born there, even if he moved
before he was five, or something
memorable happened, from a Civil War
skirmish to a train collision
or a UFO sighting. Often, “historic”
seems to mean the buildings are old,
although re-purposed: Stop in
for frozen yogurt in the barbershop
(they still have the striped pole outside)
or shop for local crafts in the former five-and-dime.
Hopefully it’s a picturesque little place,
although it just as likely could be
dumpy and forlorn, a few locals gathered
in a dingy watering hole that didn’t exist
when the town was in its heyday,
and no one inside old enough
to recall what the streets were like
before the invention of cell phones.