“Mill City” by Kate Hanson Foster

No human echo–
Just a hum that drips from the street

wires, a pulse that lets loose
from the glass of vacant store fronts.

My mind is filthy with old, dear secrets.
Another room sinks into its pine boards

and someone comes to assign value;
pull sewage out of the canal.

So much left over from so much
ordinary life.

I am seduced
by the red X on buildings

where no one bothers. Another ceiling
gives in, and my gutters fill.

It is the unlit room,
the windowpane that keeps hold

of that flat ochre light.
It is absence.

And not even post and beam can escape
the flutter of that grey wing.

A crack opens another foundation–
something in the flesh trying to beat its way out.

Just watch it go.

Kate Hanson Foster Kate Hanson Foster’s first book of poems, Mid Drift, was published by Loom Press and was selected by Massachusetts Center for the Book as a “Must Read” in 2011. She gained her MFA from Bennington College, and her poetry has appeared in California Quarterly, Comstock Review, Harpur Palate, Poet Lore and elsewhere. She lives with her husband, Bert and her two children, Henry and Coralie in Groton, Massachusetts.