|"Ascent," 2013, by Jeremy Geddes|
On Returning to My Hometown in 2035
by Idra Novey
Even the gun shows are gone now, even
the scrapyards, the darkest, farthest barns.
The strip mall half empty since
my elementary years abides only
chemicals now, the lot sequestered
behind fences, its metal tanks checked
each September for leaks in the seals.
I lost my virginity in a basement here, lost
my balance on a backhoe, had to pick
the gravel out of my knees. For the prom,
my date was the tank man just vaporized
in the heat storm, his data screen open
to augmented porn. This morning
in my Honda pedi-plane, I flew over where
we used to sled, old hills oranged now
for warning, only the edges still brown.
I saw a denier sitting outside
in a lawn chair, her hair so long
it met the ground. There’s no idling in
the skyways now, which is why
I can’t tell you if she was dying.
[Image above by Jeremy Geddes]
Poem via Poetry Foundation
I have had this poem bookmarked since I read it last year...I just love the concept. Wouldn't it make for a fun prompt...write a poem about returning to your hometown (even your house) in the future. I don't know how jet-pack-y (or "pedi-plane"-y) the year 2035 will be, and maybe that's an element of the poem I enjoy even more. And all those small, strange details (the gravel, "oranged," and the old lady with her Rapunzel/Rip van Winkle hair dragging on the grass). It's just wonderfully imaginative, isn't it?