They Asked Me What I Missed About My Hometown
by Karla Linn Merrifield

Fairmont
county seat Marion County
Marion as in Francis Marion
the Swamp Fox of Revolutionary
War fame         memorialized
on a plaque in front
of the courthouse in
Fairmont
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Fairmont
Fairmont State College town
intelligentsia    country club set      white
coalmines twenty        thirty
clean miles away from suburban
Fairmont
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Fairmont on the Monongahela
mother river
five-syllable river of place
of my birth
the river too arises in
Fairmont
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Fairmontís
West Fork/East Fork
a confluencing—Mama Monongahela
I forget hometown Fairmont
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I remember Monongahela
Ohio
Mississippi                  Gulf of Mexico
                                            Atlantic Ocean
I was born by a river   a river
fated to take me on the gyre out to sea


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