(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.
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.
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.