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lyrics

The shoreline of Lake Erie traces a gentle curve to the north.
Down south, our namesake river meanders its wandering course.
Some bureaucrat with a ruler and map drew lines to the west and the east.
Altogether it traces that elegant shape that appears to me still in my dreams.

And I can’t escape my home,
Because no matter where I go
I see things that are shaped like Ohio.

I see those yellow school crossing signs and imagine them upside-down;
I open a book and at just the right angle, the sight can erase any frown;
A fat letter V, a basswood leaf, the United States entire,
And the cut-out shape in construction paper on a homemade valentine.

No I can’t escape my home,
Because no matter where I go
I see things that are shaped like Ohio.

And Michigan can keep its mittens,
Oklahoma its pans and its pots,
Square Colorado’s a very pale shadow;
Ohio’s got something they’ve not.

And it’s like I never left,
Because right here in my chest
My heart is still shaped like Ohio.

credits

from THE BOTTLENECK and other stories, released April 18, 2017

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Micah Sommersmith Wisconsin

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