Once I’d see those not-quite city
houses tucked between river
and road or up a gravel lane, place
for a garden, two cars for parts,
and think—my people.
My vowels would slow and stretch
a hand to theirs. Now
I scan for other signs—
MAGA, Trump, the battle lines
now visible as scars crisscrossed
against illusion of who and what
was ever mine.