Note: I recently finished the Rolling Stone article on the heroin problem in Vermont. The article opens with a heroin addict from my hometown of Milton. This poem emerged from the rush of nostalgia and visceral thoughts that the article broke open in my veins.
A Letter Home
Milton, Vermont, the dirty poem from
which I sprung. Your syntax of trailer parks
punctuated by open fields and front lawns
littered with the corpses of rusted trucks.
Though you tried to kill my brother with your
wellspring of OxyContin pills, you nurtured
my mother back to her family with your green
hills and dirt roads while she fought
the death-promise of cancer. So I forgave you.
And now I read that the realism of Oxy pills
you swallowed with well water have been
replaced by the opiate pinprick of heroin.
I’m aghast, but not surprised by this turn.
I moved three hundred miles away
to shed the rural skin you wrapped me
in only to find that even in coastal Maine,
despite the strong ocean winds, the marrow
of my bones still speaks your savage name.