Micro Essay Mapping Geography

Place as Bioregion, Poems as Series
“From I-94”

Paw Paw, the Pokagon
Great migrations to the House of David sent
the seventh messenger
the Christian commune amusement park
now this Potawatomi Zoo
mish mash
the bluff and the casino

capital cut through
red oak and red bud
shipped to St. Lawrence
profits and pelts

white pine manifest destiny
cut through and cleared
lumber labor lost
no dollar left to dicker over

California gold rush
good luck
Brought back nothing new
but a name, and
one of one-thousand
and fifty
fields to be reduced and split by that divided progress

“Why don’t you go play on ninety-four?”
joked mother
pushing sister and I out the door
Russian olive trees, thick with thorns,
ash and oak and evergreen
a forest of fern separates house from highway

my hideaway among the coreopsis
my hemlock and yarrow
my poison ivy home

I built shelters of broken sticks on paths
pioneered by deer, foxes
lean-to / tee-pee \

Little Paw Paw lake feeds the creek
waste water run-off
snakes eating frogs

Toughskins and white tennies
thick with green bog mud
a gully to cross with willow tree rope

gladiola and sweet fruits in Farmer Friday’s field
competes with acrid air
the county dump four lanes and a median away