St. Francis. A Poem by Peter Mladinic


Katie Zwerling, leave everything behind
and come with me to St. Francis,
a little town way up in Maine, way up
there, way out there. When people say
out in the middle of nowhere they mean
this place, surrounded by logging roads
cleared a hundred years ago so trucks
could haul logs to populated places.
You’ve seen roads surrounded by trees.
These roads are really surrounded by trees!
You drive on, it’s a bit scary. Nothing’s
around these winding dirt roads but trees
and this town, where we could settle
in a house with heat, air conditioning.
Would the house have central air? Maybe.
But it would have electricity, plumbing,
and we’d be close to the logging roads,
get to know them so we wouldn’t get stuck
or lost. People want to be near the ocean,
or a lake or a golf course. I’d take these
logging roads any day over a golf course
or a mall, roads with trees around, pines,
evergreens, no vehicles, except us in ours,
my jeep with a GPS, so as not to get lost.
So much snow in winter, a snowmobile
would be needed. I could buy one!
Snowsuits to keep us warm. Go out
on those roads, not too far, and come back
to our house in St. Francis. Both of us
stripped naked I could kiss you all over.
We could make love, then go to a local cafe,
come home, watch Reign on Netflix.
St. Francis has WiFi. We could call people
on our cell phones. When logging roads
were made, did they have telephones way up
there? It’s way, way different from here.

Peter Mladinic has published three books of poems: Lost in Lea, Dressed for Winter, and Falling Awake in Lovington, all with the Lea County Museum Press. His fourth book of poems, Knives on a Table is available from Better Than Starbucks Publications. An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at More of his personal work can also be viewed at video & audio poems, translations etc.,