[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_audio admin_label=”Audio” audio=”http://www.johnfitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/06-Winter-In-Caribou.mp3″ title=”Winter in Caribou” artist_name=”John Fitzsimmons” album_name=”Fires in the Belly” background_layout=”light” background_color=”#ffffff” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] [/et_pb_audio][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

I know your name. It’s written there.
I wonder if you care.
A six-pack of Narragansett beer,
Some Camels and the brownie over there.
Every day I stop by like I
Got some place I’ve got to go;
I’m buying things I don’t really need:
I don’t read the Boston Globe.

But I, I think that I
Caught the corner of your eye.
But why, why can’t I try
To say the things I’ve got inside
To you ….

You’re new around here, but in a quiet way.
How long you gonna stay?
Your baby sleeps by the porno rack
And you car’s got Michigan plates.
Winter here’s a lonely time:
snow piles, and generally a pain.
I blew the tranny on my pickup truck,
So I’m driving that rusted-out Fairlane.

But I, I think that I
Caught the corner of your eye.
But why, why can’t I try
To say the things I’ve got inside
To you ….

Pretty soon, she knew my name;
She’d say, “Hey, John-O, how ya been?”
I’d bring her toys that I’d whittled up
To hang over our little baby friend.
I felt myself all changed up somehow,
And I worked like I’d never worked before,
Dropping trees and bucking logs,
All the while thinking of that store.

But I, I think that I
Caught the corner of your eye
But why, why can’t I try
To say the things I’ve got inside
To you ….

But it all ends up kinda’ like you think it might. I got all spiffed up and headed on over to the store. I get there a little later than I usually do. I’d been home whittling up this Canada goose— little thing with wings that flap, so we could hang it over the baby’s crib and she should slap at it—and it would look like it was flying.
Anyways, I get there and Frank is behind the counter reading one of them magazines, all of a sudden I felt myself getting real small, and kinda drifting away. I could hardly even hear him saying, “Yeah, that’s too bad about Carol. She was a real good girl. But I told her not to worry none, that there’s plenty of folks around looking for work, but it would be hard to find one just like herself. Fact is, John-O, she was waiting around here for you to show up; but seeing as how you were so late in coming, and that fellow she was with kinda looked like he wanted to get going, she just wrote down this here note for you. Asked if I’d give it to you here….”
“What’s she say, John-O?”
“Not much, Frank, It just says, …
Dear John-O. 
Thanks a lot for everything you did for me this winter. It really meant a lot to me, and I really do wish we could have gotten to known each other better. But life just takes quiet, crazy turns sometimes, and you never know.”

No address. Michigan somewhere, I guess.

So I stuck my head in a Field & Stream magazine so Frank wouldn’t see me. But, like all the folks around here, he knew. It just all seemed kinda weird: Frank, over there, behind the counter saying “Hey, John-O, check out this one over here….”

Damn, damn it I,
I had the corner of her eye.
But I…
I didn’t try.

 

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