(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.
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.
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,
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.