After Reading of the Heroin Epidemic in Vermont, I Write a Letter Home

Note: I recently finished the Rolling Stone article on the heroin problem in Vermont.  The article opens with a heroin addict from my hometown of Milton.  This poem emerged from the rush of nostalgia and visceral thoughts that the article broke open in my veins. 


A Letter Home


Milton, Vermont, the dirty poem from

which I sprung. Your syntax of trailer parks

punctuated by open fields and front lawns

littered with the corpses of rusted trucks.


Though you tried to kill my brother with your

wellspring of OxyContin pills, you nurtured

my mother back to her family with your green

hills and dirt roads while she fought

the death-promise of cancer.  So I forgave you.


And now I read that the realism of Oxy pills

you swallowed with well water have been

replaced by the opiate pinprick of heroin.

I’m aghast, but not surprised by this turn.


I moved three hundred miles away

to shed the rural skin you wrapped me

in only to find that even in coastal Maine,

despite the strong ocean winds, the marrow

of my bones still speaks your savage name.



Join the Conversation


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: