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West Marginal

Saint Paul, 11 September 2007
Dedicated to Richard Hugo

We never saw the real
West Marginal Way
on the banks of the Duwamish
below White Center

There weren’t ghost ads
Baked onto outfield walls
But boundless big skies of hope
Like a freightless right-of-way
Disjoins a picnic-less park

We didn’t see you play ball
Wary of being fooled
Waiting on pitches then
Taking it the other way
Another broken bat single

We never discovered
The contents of your briefcase
How some items sunk you
And others kept you afloat
Like an unspoken vice or two

We heard you a trip before Skye
You read the most forlorn of poems
delivered it by cloudless exhilaration
in a breathless cadence some
Two years before your last sigh

Still we never saw
the real West Marginal Way
on the banks of the Duwamish
below White Center

Notes:

The Duwamish (doo-WAHM'-ish) River
The Real West Marginal Way - A Poet's Autobiography by Richard Hugo