Dear Cold Springs,
Men build empires from granite
facades taken from the ground you keep.
Most people on Minnesota Highway 23
pass without knowing the history
you keep to yourself. Most think you’re only
a small town with a brewery and a stadium
for a local baseball team, where people
from farmlands go after the last hay bale thrown.
Some pass you on the way to Saint Cloud,
industry and fortunes sought, but a few stay.
It is the solitude they seek, quiet conversations,
a pastoral land where your son is destined
to marry the girl down the street.
In the local bakery familiar conversations are shared,
and without a word, the baker knows
what you will order when you walk through the door.
Your children complain, and when grown
go seek a life in the city to act smart
and feign forgetfulness of country ways,
but in conversation and memory,
a part of them stays.
Let the children come back to you,
*Cold Springs, Minnesota