Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Rick Campbell: Archeology

I have come a thousand miles

for this. J&L’s ruins, a gravel plain

on the Ohio’s west bank. There’s little

left but an archeology of memory—smokestacks,

ovens, foundry, smelter, slag. Someone

might ask what happened here? What brought

this culture to ruin? Drought? Pox?

Broken dreams? Who lived in ash

and cinder at the base of the great fires?

What twisted iron to scrap and left it to rust?

My inventory: butts, pull tabs, bolts, washers,

pencil stubs, bottle caps, screws, nails,

bones, rubbers, keys, our lives. I drop

a tarnished watch fob and broken penknife

in my pack and walk away.


From Gunshot, Peacock, Dog by Rick Campbell (Madville Publishing, 2018). 

Included in Vox Populi by permission of the publisher

.


Above: Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, Aliquippa Works, c. 1970.    Below: c.. 2018

One comment on “Rick Campbell: Archeology

  1. Carol Lois Haywood
    February 27, 2019

    Love the photo!

    Liked by 1 person

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