Utah Gothic

(for my mother, June)

Silence—the shutter—chill and still

Across grave stones in a graveyard

In Smithfield, Utah, its

Claim in the dirt—Sacred Soil for

Souls—Radical Souls, Soul Revolutionaries

Souls who lifted Themselves up—

Translated themselves into Americans

And citizens in and of Utah.

Utah Gothic.

Ogden, Logan, Roy: northern cities

In Utah; Grandmother Alice’s house

Was across the street from the Mormon

Church there. It was a short Summer walk,

For me, to the Logan Temple: God as

Immediate as a trip to the grocery.

Slightly more distant was a campus

For Utah State University, the Aggies.

Cache County was seat of North Utah;

This Mormon Empire—citizens from

Norway, Sweden, England, France

Were here for a new God, a new country.

Utah Gothic.

Retired by the time I visited Summers,

Grandpa Garnel kept equipment left over

From his farm: canvas hoses, tin and wood

Fittings and boxes, to use for irrigation with

The Spring rain mountain runoff from city

Gutters. He’d water the lawn, bushes,

Trees on the front side facing the church,

Watered the backyard garden, raspberry,

Blackberry bushes.

You could walk to downtown from my

grandparents’ house, to the town library,

To storefronts there since the 1940s, 1950s:

The Bluebird restaurant, the Beauty College,

The ice cream factory outlet.

20 minutes drive brought Gossner Dairy:

cheeses, bulk curds, milk in sealed sterilized

Boxes and guaranteed for ten years from

Purchase, produced with equipment from

A manufacturer in Sweden.

On a distant edge of Logan was a petting zoo;

Opposite that was the giant grocery outlet.

Drive past the outlet and you’d arrive at

What used to be Grandpa Garnel’s farm.

Utah Gothic.