this weekend, i leave fayetteville for the next adventure on the west coast, and i’m struggling for worthy words on farewell and my time here. this season, like all of them i’m starting to believe, will find its place in the puzzle only in hindsight. for now, what i lack in the right words i make up for in great affection for this place and the people that make it up.
i want to record that while it’s fresh, and let the full picture emerge as it will . . .
there are places that ask a lot of their people,
demanding locales with rules and pretense and hoops happily jumped through for the status of belonging
in the streets,
in the village,
in the up and coming corridor which up and came before and now,
now returns with vengeance.
those places have their places,
but one day you’ll find yourself full up on all that,
and car loaded down with trinkets of home,
you’ll drive away,
through empty miles to a corner of a state you least expected,
in a state you least expected
ever to be found.
and you are
for there a city waits that loves with hoopless chance,
with a passive, come hither abandon,
that asks only for a smile,
the wryer the better,
oh the better to love you with.
that calls you a poet,
pours you a scotch,
asks questions without answers and lets them hang heavy in lifting air,
lets you come into yourself without watching you change,
asks you to carry another’s burdened box of unthinkable hard,
and blesses you over and over again,
a fountain recycling,
a spirit of abundance.
any city worth its salt is seasoned by its people,
and fayetteville has some of the best.
a few months in their midst will leave you packing them right alongside your suitcases,
you add them to your collection.