how it ends

from by brad yoder

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lyrics

a strip mall wasteland, what gets built breaks down again
the weeds find weakness in the pavement
a sign says “see you in the spring,”
but it doesn't look to me like they'll be opening again
all the way from Canton to Butler
waiting at the stoplights, I'm half-sure that this is how,
that this is how it ends..

down in Millvale at the going-out-of-business sale
I bought a calculator & some blue pens,
the flood was too much so the old man hung it up
& now he's selling 40 years of odds & ends
I asked him if he'll fix things at home now
he said "not if I can help it"
blue eyes washed out , he lit a cigarette..
everyone's from somewhere,
maybe you were born there,
and everybody knew you,
knew the ones before you,
pictures in the windows,
the usual mementos,
it's on the tip of your tongue,
waiting there to be sung: home,
call it home, where we're almost alone
all my migrants and ghosts leave the holes I love most,
they’re at home..

by the boom-towns all the chain stores come around
to replicate their retail DNA,
but it's just the same stores,
there's a Target by the Boston Market,
or there's a Walmart by the Chick-fil-A,
and here beyond the reach of the upsurge
for everything that's local a slow dirge plays
as we watch it , as we watch it fade
everyone's from somewhere..

..all the way from Burrell to Freeport
waiting at the stoplights, I’m half-sure
that this is how , that this is how it ends:
a strip mall wasteland, what gets built breaks down again
the weeds find weakness in the pavement...

credits

from excellent trouble, released October 1, 2010

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brad yoder Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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