You are in the city,
cold and raw,
so full of energy it crackles.
There are lights
and women in improbable heels
walking quickly along the sidewalks.
There are windows,
big glass expanses with glossy showrooms
and perfect clerks wearing Armani.
You never wear Armani.
You are an anomaly here in your flannel shirt
and stocking cap, moving slow,
not like an old man, but like a child soaking it all in,
the wonder of it,
so unlike your small town
with its one road, one diner,
a library and a row of homes
that have seen a century come and go.
you realize how, after seven years,
this place you live, nowhere Vermont,
has seeped into your bones, so much so
that even here in the city
where you dwelled and lived and worked so long,
you bring the quiet with you,
an anomaly more even than your rustic clothes and cap.
About this poem
Ever since moving to Vermont in 1999, I have thought of writing Garrison Keilor stories about this places, centered around a town called Nowhere, Vermont. (not exactly Lake Woebegone, but then, I am no Garrison Keilor.).
This place has definitely settled into my bones. When I visit my big city clients (and most of them are.), they often notice a stillness about me that I did not have when I lived and worked among them.
I don’t know if they see it as a good thing or a bad thing, but I think I like it.
The picture was taken in Pawlet, Vermont.