EXILE ON MAIN STREET by Jeffrey Mackie

On Main Street, partially boarded up
Street no longer runs, east and west
In this town you can no longer get a haircut on Main Street
But you can get Oxycontin
You can no longer get homemade ice cream
Or a $2.99 breakfast special on Main Street
But you can get Oxycontin

There aren’t regular hours at the library
And the town no longer has a hockey team
But you can get Oxycontin
You can no longer get a summer job at the hardware store
Or at any of the surrounding farms
But you can find Oxycontin

The church was sold last year
Though you can still be buried in near your relatives
In the graveyard where they sell Oxycontin
The church is going to be made into a local archives
If the funding comes through, turned down for a government grant
“It’s a vanishing way of life”, they say

In the city everyone is into ‘local’
In the diner I heard someone remark;
“I sure wish they would come back here and be local,
For ten years could barely come back for Christmas
Now they complain how it’s all changed”

There is a new house at the bottom of the toboggan hill
And you can’t play hockey on the outdoor rink between 12 and 5
But you can buy Oxycontin in the changing shack.

Jeffrey Mackie is a poet living in Montreal, Canada. He also does a regular literary feature on CKUT radio in Montreal.

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