Allensworth, California

This dream town is left
to parched ghosts whose
promised water rights
vaporized near tracks
by-passed by trains that
refused to stop
for former slaves
or their leader,
murdered under
muddy wheels.

I look through foggy windows of a
cash store with no cash
schoolhouse with no students
church with silent bells,
no dry-mouthed choir
to sing Amazing Grace.

Leaving on the rough,
two-lane road
toward Route 99,
thunderheads appear.
I see the sign,
“Subject to flooding.”

About the author

Born in Chicago, Mary Langer Thompson has traveled Route 66 to California where she lives today. She's been to several countries in Europe and…

Read the full bio

Issue 07 · November 2009

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