A Forgotten Town

Today’s Slice of Life writing comes from inspiration I had while driving south to see my sister and her family. I don’t mind long drives because it gives me time to listen to audiobooks or podcasts or just reflect on the scenery as I drive. It can be dull, but sometimes you drive through little gems like the one I did — I didn’t stop because there wasn’t really a place TO stop — but I knew I had to capture it in writing if nothing else. This started as a line in my notebook about seeing it and then evolved into a sort of poem.

I think I’m more amused by it than most because my niece (part of the family mentioned earlier) is very obsessed with the film franchise Hotel Transylvania. She has even told us that she would like to marry Dracula. I feel I should mention that she is not-yet-three. She also mentioned wanting to be a cowgirl, so driving past this rural, blip of a town seemed like kismet. This poem is for her.

Driving back from seeing my niece
is just the right amount of time
to see fields and fields of green
I recognize as stalks of corn,
but little else.

Between the fields
and billboards
are patches of rural
or not-quite-towns
that break up the stretch
and if you’re lucky
provide a place to rest.

I don’t mind the drive.
It’s quiet time,
by myself time,
just me and the audiobook time.

Time to reflect
and ponder
about the literal
(or is it ironic)
ghost town I drive through:
Transylvania, Louisiana.

A blink and you miss it,
barely there,
–a blip–
that only stands out
from the other rural patches

Because all that seems to be left
is a colony of paper bats
nested in a diner window
and the king of bats looms
on the water tower emblazoned:


Driving past I laugh
at the audacity of this declaration
to find myself peering out
in order to recognize signs of life
in this ghost town.

Between the tower
and the diner
are no signs of
living people
or dead people
just the remaining bat markers
and an elementary school
rotting even as it welcomes

Because all that fills my mind
is a town of undead
hiding from the sun
and the reminder looms
with each passing patch:

Your town may be next.


3 thoughts on “A Forgotten Town

  1. Oh I love that last line!! Great poem. My daughter was obsessed with the Hotel Transylvania movies too. She swore to me she was a vampire who would fly to vampire conventions in the middle of the night. She was the only kindergarten girl who dressed up like Dennis for Halloween (crazy red wig and all). Your post brought back those memories! I hope you enjoyed your visit with your niece.


  2. What a kick! I loved traveling through these blips of towns with you. Your musings are perfect and that last line has me chuckling for sure!


  3. Wonderful musings! I think a trip to that town, niece in tow, may be warranted at some point, if only to get a picture in front of the sign.


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