Aberdeen, Washington: February 20, 1967 by Anthony Frame

Aberdeen, Washington: February 20, 1967
 

for Kurt Cobain

The smokestacks at the Rayonier Mill breathes
wood pulp, the ashes turning the slow rain gray,

waiting for snow, waiting for something to hold.
Laid off loggers scowl at a forest of saplings

That can not keep pace with unemployment rates.
Beauty, they say, isn't a Band-Aid. The tabs grow

at King's Cove Bar & Grill, all apologies covered
by wet dust sprayed by wilting truck tires.

Underneath the Sixth Street Bridge, the homeless
understand Aberdeen is miles away from Mayberry.

Here, the rows of little houses line up like dominoes.
Here, the rain sings lullabies to trees while it freezes

a Man In His sleep. Still, bored nurses are Kept awake
as another baby boy with eyes as blue as frost screams.

Thunderstorms shake the houses in Aberdeen.
As loud and rough and bitter as a shotgun blast.

 

Anthony Frame is an exterminator from Toledo, Ohio, where he lives with his wife. He is the author of one book, A Generation of Insomniacs (Main Street Rag Press, 2014) and three chapbooks, most recently: To Gain the Day (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2015). He is the poetry editor at The Indianola Review and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming from Rattle, Third Coast, Harpur Palate, The North American Review, Milk, Blueshift Journal and Verse Daily, among others. In 2014, he was awarded an Individual Excellence Grant from the Ohio Arts Council. His website is www.anthony-frame.com

Elijah Tubbs