i'm with joe

Massachusetts, I came to you,
wide open, seeking adventure,
throwing myself at you, whorishly,
with heady expectations.

On my first night here,
Mary McCaslin played and sang
to ten patrons at the Black Sheep.
I considered myself welcomed.

It was easy to fall in love
with your ice-cold swimming holes,
your flannel and organic coffee,
tag sales, package stores,
vegetarian options,
your "thickly settled" cautions
and gay pride parades.

No matter how long I live
in your towns, I'm no townie,
and I like that about you, too,

I'm grateful for your politics,
but even more, your mountains.
Oh, your bards and crooners
I love your farms, your irises,
clapboard houses, and your libraries.

I even love the crappy bar
where last night I heard the song
that inspired this poem about you.
Don't listen to my bitching.

Finally, thank you for presenting me
with one of your beloved sons.
I promise to love him well.
I've given you a son of my own,
and my daughter, too, Massachusetts.

Inspired by a live performance of the song Massachusetts by the Scud Mountain Boys.