Ghost Town

Intriguing the empty buildings,
empty of people, that is,
for I can make out dusty furniture
and bits of pottery inside one—
cups, plates sitting on tables, on shelves—
unmoved since my last visit.

East of what used to be
the business district stands the jail—
a small, white stucco building,
almost hidden by weeds.  
Its door is ajar, and most of the bars
on the windows are missing.

I walk west on Tipperary Road,
past the old gym, boarded up now,
and the ruins of an auto dealership,
past a few inhabited houses, 
to a bright, green building—
the Shamrock Museum.

Once the owner showed me
slabs of rock containing indentations.
“See, this is where someone knelt,
and here where a dinosaur walked.”

I couldn’t see, of course. I needed someone
to outline those ancient impressions
with black ink like they do on PBS
through the magic of television.

But I can look back up Tipperary Road
and see the hustle and bustle of the oil boom,
can see the blarney stone we kissed
on St. Patrick’s Day, stores filled
with colorful goods at Christmas,
and pie suppers in the gym. 

Soon these ruins,
like all the marks we make,
will be reduced to impressions,
discerned only by practiced eyes.

Carol Lavelle Snow