Right-of-Way

There’s no address here
we live on a CPR right-of-way
impossible to receive deliveries
unless the driver is local
willing to accept landmarks
for directions.
Which is not to say
of no fixed address or
disenfranchised, just that
this town literally has
two sides of the tracks and we
live on the money side.
Money buys land
and holds land, decides who
its neighbours are
and who its neighbours will be.
With no neighbours over here,
we spend our time
on the other side
of the tracks
at houses of friends that have
numbers on the door
and mailboxes, and fences,
Froot Loops in the cupboards,
and cable TV—
normal things
we don’t have
on the money side.
But we don’t need addresses
navigate by habit
the well-worn paths
of small-town childhood.
Sometimes new kids move in
and live in So-and-So’s house.
It will always be So-and-So’s house
and never the new kid’s.
We’re lifers, we’re townies,
we do the granting,
we decide
who gets the right-of-way.

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