When June comes—you know—
the clover knows June,
rolling out yards of white for her.
Soon though the mulberries make a mess
of the summer sidewalk, birds’ magenta stain all over.
Drifters on broken bikes pedal the cinder alleys
past dying lilacs—rummaging,
balancing black bags of tin cans
while on a back stoop flashes a galvanized
aluminum tub full of top soil,
tiny leaves coming, going green,
Dead Courthouse Museums
Every heartland courthouse, dying or not,
has a dead museum
in a closet, an ancient display case,
a neglected corner where—gathered together
to preserve the ghosts—a rag-tag collection
huddles—stuffed owls, arrow-heads, lamp-lighters,
hand cartography, yellow-leathered books,
bone-knob canes, army medals
& jars with tonsil-like objects in solution.
Artifacts of the county history
no one knows, no one knows what to do with.
No money for a curator, hardly money
for the lights and floor polish of the grand building itself.
But these objets perdus cannot be thrown out,
they are sacred in some way, not sure what.