Taking away a piece of area


No greater place

in all the world

Chautauqua County

where my dog and I

sit curled.

Winters here conjure up

memories of cold wood smoke

small town faces

factories, fields, and drag races.

If Ralcorp was a man, instead of a corporation,

I would rip out his heart and eat it.

The Petri family recipe came from immigrants

and in the search for the American Dream

look what’s happening to our towns.

I wouldn’t eat Ralcorp’s heart

I wouldn’t feed it to my dog either

I would throw it to the field mice

show that heart what it feels like

to be gnawed on in the cold and dark

of a small town that doesn’t have lobbyists

or super pacs

just picnics and families

and deer hunting gun racks

track and field race tracks

teamleader forest team packs

arts and craft show excitement panic attacks

I love this place

and I don’t want it to get down on itself

or feel snarky

i want us all to take a corny

walk together in the park-y

let’s fight the bad guys

and farm the good way

and be lights upon the world

in dark days.