I did not know the old blacksmith nor was I here when horses clip-clopped down into town, delivering milk or huge chunks of ice, these streets a swampy forest then.

"I like to think of it white with frost or dusty in the heat,
Because I think it is humaner than any other street."

Front page of the small town newspaper tells of demolition of an old bicycle repair shop where I bought a red bike for my husband's birthday. He rode it once to please me, I guess. Though now the red bike sits cobwebbed in the garage.

Roads were carved and houses built, the naming taken for granted when I was young: Long Hill, Greenwood, Cloverhill, Brookside, Northfield, Valley and River Roads. We have no Main Street.

"God be thanked for the Milky Way that runs across the sky,
That's the path that my feet would tread whenever I have to die.
Some folks call it a Silver Sword, and some a Pearly Crown,
But the only thing I think it is, is Main Street, Heaven-town."

The photograph on the front page was blurry, so I walked to see it for myself. What I saw was what's left of a blacksmith, what's left of a man who fixed bicycles. What is left is rust and bricks, a pile of carefully placed stone. Someone took away the old tools, leaving the rubble.


quoted excerpts from Main Street by Joyce Kilmer, written in 1917, and later published in Joyce Kilmer's Anthology of Catholic Poets

newspaper article referenced from Echoes-Sentinel, formerly called The Mountain Echoes

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