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THIS IS THE PLACE

Here, I walk the streets alone
As everyone else sleeps
No noise except frogs croaking
The last car leaving the pub
Around one or two in the morning
Two dogs warning me
One squeaky-sounding one barking
One growling one not barking
Growl on guard dog
You do your job well not to wake up the whole town
For my sake.

There is still mud quite deep
At our park
I see more sand bags than two days ago
The poor City Hall basement has no walls
But I don't know if it ever did anyway
After over two years
I am only starting to feel like I belong here
After Pendleton, I am glad to come back
Last night, I tried to sleep in my van
At Dean's Deli after it wouldn't start on my way home
That was a joke with cars coming and going
I finally went to my daughter in laws
Where I slept like hell for 3 hours.

Tonight, somehow, I made it back
After a 4 hour sleep in a storm at Midway Elevator
In lightening, thunder, and rain
Humidity, I am not used to
That makes me want to freak out
With this blanket of hair down my back
That I will never cut again
Because a woman's hair is supposed to be her crowning glory
And it's the only crown I can call mine all mine
Barely any noise here at night
Sometimes, I know I must freak others out being up so late
Night person who walks the muddy streets of Helix Oregon.

This is the place where the East Oregonian gets our mayor's name wrong
Where we don't count much in the scheme of Umatilla County, Oregon
Where the best education is for a kid with small classes
Where I hear there could be injections to be had Saturday
As all the mud being moved could make us ill
But the shots could be a rumor
As I don't see anything at the Post Office saying that
This is the place my daughter-in-law found for me
It's where I will stay as long as I possibly can
Even if it's boring, far away from anything, and no one wants to visit here
This is the place I have grown to love
It can grow to love me too
Or it can hate me for being different
It matters and it doesn't matter
Because this is the place I had an owl pet in my tree
Where the cats I feed can eat the mice I am so afraid of
Where I don't care about my basement flooding as much as the Library's
Where I loaned someone 96 DVD's and they still have them
As they live here too, and we both live on Indian time
Even if I am Norwegian and they are Indian.

This land is your land
This land is my land
From the old Adams Road to the gravel Myrick Road
I like that and that I saw a mom and baby deer a few hours ago
This is the place my heart lies now
I will grieve if I ever leave it
Because this is the place, I have grown to love
Thank you little place
Where I fly flags for my Vietnam Veteran
And for my soldier son
As thy will be done
Let the red white and blue light up my fence
It's mostly the best neon in town
When I am around to turn it on for the night
I love you people
So don't hate me for being different
I am just some random old lady
Trying to be a bad ass
Juxtaposed on a bawl baby
Let me stay here maybe?
As this is the place I live.


7/20/2012 0307 cj


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THIS IS THE PLACE