Utah Gothic

(for June Alice Thedell)

Silence—the shutter—chill and still

Across grave stones in a graveyard

In Smithfield, Utah, its

Claim in the dirt—Sacred Soil for

Souls—Radical Souls, Soul Revolutionaries, Souls who lifted Themselves up—translated themselves

Into Americans, citizens in and of Utah.

Utah Gothic.

Smithfield, Logan, Roy: northern cities

In Logan, Grandmother Alice’s house

Was across the street from the Mormon

Church there. It was a short Summer walk,

For me, to the Logan Temple:

God as immediate as a trip to the grocery.

Slightly more distant was a campus

For Utah State University, the Aggies.

Cache County was seat of North Utah;

This Mormon Empire—citizens from

Norway, Sweden, England, France

Were here for a new God, a new country.

Utah Gothic.

Retired by the time I visited Summers,

Grandpa Garnel kept his

Watering equipment left over from the

Farm: canvas hoses, tin and wood

Fittings and boxes, to use for irrigation with

The Spring rain mountain runoff from city

Gutters. He’d water the lawn, bushes,

Trees on the front side facing the church, watered the backyard garden, its raspberry, blackberry bushes.

You could walk to downtown from my grandparents’ house, to the

Town library, to storefronts there since the 1940s, 1950s: the Bluebird restaurant, the Beauty College, the ice cream factory outlet. 20 minutes drive brought Gossner Dairy: cheeses, bulk curds, milk in sealed sterilized boxes and guaranteed for ten years from purchase, produced with equipment from a manufacturer in Sweden.

On a distant edge of

Logan was a petting zoo; opposite that was the giant grocery outlet.

Drive past the outlet and you’d arrive at what used to be Grandpa Garnel’s farm.

Utah Gothic.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s