Night after the Oil Bust, Mark Trechock

Judith Nelson, Rimming Sheathe, 2001, 26X30

Night after the Oil Bust


It’s a ghost town,
everyone gone to seek
their own misfortune in another
form, driving away on the cheap
gas that took their jobs away,
trash cans overflowing with
what there was no room for
when they hit the highway.

Some left their dogs to forage
through the alleys, competing
with the ragged woman who rolls
her shopping cart through town
at three or four in the morning,
its wheels screeching like an owl,
and child seat rattling like bones
at a Halloween shindig.

Across the street a light
behind a tattered curtain
in a second story room
shines stubbornly with what
one might call faith, another
rage. Someday it will burn out,
and my dog on its leash will cease
barking and growling at it.

Mark Trechock

Review by Jake Tringali

I know this ghost town, living in an ethereal plane that’s always after midnight.  I know this second-story light, shining with either faith or rage.  This poem is a good place to visit, to drive past, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

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