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Centralia

Centralia

BY ALEX GILLIS

Centralia, PA

A forest with smoke rising from the ground below,

Yet there is no visible fire.

Patches of grass are visible here and there,

Dried wood litters the ground.

There are a few holes and scratches

On the green oak trees left standing.

Over the hill the ground is cracked

Like a mighty earthquake

That has divided the land.

Old rusty shotgun shells lie

Mixed in with the rubble.

A fifteen foot hole in a mountain wall

With charred trash inside.

A single blackened shoe with no shoelaces.

Mixed with bones of some long-dead animal.

A thick forest opens to reveal grown-in grass,

Then a street that leads nowhere.

A town.

A town where the most pristine place is

Its cemetery.

A rusted pipe protrudes from the earth

A small circular fence surrounds it.

With smoke,

A lot of smoke,

Leaving from the pipe.

Stone steps and a driveway lead up to a mix

Of spruce and oak trees,

Vines, grass, and spider webs.

Trash and old dirty clothes scattered and left behind.

Every driveway,

Every step,

Leads to more of the same.

A sinkhole is in a backyard.

Trace smells of smoke,

Coal and sulfur

Intensify.

A single church surrounded by trees on top of a hill,

A flagpole carries an American flag,

And

Recently cut grass.

A wooden mine cart sits still,

With no bottom,

Torn cloth slightly waves on the inside.

Another street.

This one has a road divider in the middle.

A raised piece of pavement,

Cracks everywhere,

With no shortage of grass and weeds growing out of them.

More smoke comes from the cracks in ground.

A highway,

Route 61,

Not just cracks now.

Full on gaps,

Some big enough to fall into.

With graffiti everywhere.

Writing on the road that says:

“This is where She

Appears in the dark of night”

“The end is near”

And “Silent Hill P.A.”

Since 1962

Mother Nature waged war with this town,

Setting an ever lit fire,

That burned the underneath of the ground settled on.

A ghost town in Pennsylvania,

A single white and blue sign that says,

“Borough of Centralia.”

Parched

Parched

Defenses

Defenses