North side of the Merrimack is what the Pennacooks called Augumtoocooke,
but as I drive east along Pawtucket Boulevard there's no seeing Augumtoocooke.
That road pours into Varnum Ave then onto the VFW Highway so on my left I see
Heritage Park, the University, a Mickey D's, Dad's frat, but not Augumtoocooke.
The Pawtucket Falls lap lazy over the wooden flashings of a dam built to max out
the river's hydraulic head and where once fished first people of the Augumtoocooke.
Across the river, Fox Hall Towers, tallest building here to Boston, Lelacheur Park,
Tsongas Arena, ribbons of redbrick mills, all that looks down over Augumtoocooke.
Bang a larry at the lights on Bridge Street, roll past Little Caesars, Manning Liquor,
watch landscaping crews smoke morning butts by a Dunks, but no Augumtoocooke.
Down by Macpherson Park, lithe flights of Irish, Cambodian, Greek, and Dominican boys
sweating half court hoops brilliant under rim but they know shit about Augumtoocooke,
though it might get a mention over at McAuliffe Elementary studying Indians a whole week
before Thanksgiving break, before Christmas snow blows in to bury Augumtoocooke.
Now I roll into what's left of Dracut, bought for four yards of duffel and a pound
of tobacco from the daughter of the sachem who hunted the marshes of Augumtoocooke.
There's no more game in the marshes. There're no more marshes. But at night, the reservoir
is a good place to drop boomers and think, Wow, I am so about the Augumtoocooke,
so deep in breezes of some better yesterday and if only I could strip me down into that way
of life I'd be so pure, so alive diving into Beaver Brook under a moon of Augumtoocooke!
I ride a busted out Chevy, missing all I see to arrogate the used-to-be, dreaming absolution
from history, from my millboy misery, seeking my cradle in the crook of Augumtoocooke.
Such bullshit. Nothing but what I took, what I take and take, what I break to make my egg
lake some unpoisoned pond where I can drop a line, some kind of Augumtoocooke
of my mind. But it's not mine, this land apart, outside time, and ever our infinite theft
in the pines of this Augumtoocooke, Augumtoocooke, Augumtoocooke, Augumtoocooke.