Katie Naughton

up the brown hill

runs off the backs of what we have not burned

time again turns returns the small

parade small town I left you came back

broker and with a richer accent to sit

again in the house where time passes

like in dreams suspended and waiting

like there’s not the whole world out there wasn’t

there slow afternoons early slip of night

slow time on the floor this is the place I wasn’t

alone in memory the town pulled down trees

tore down the park built close houses we lived

in small woods like the whole world wasn’t

in snow in summer waiting for us to go

in small woods like the whole world wasn’t

we were trying to catch fish and didn’t

and wanted to eat them carry them up

the hill on bicycles too hard to pedal

should have known was an easy place to fall

from to edge around the small valley child

-hood made of the place your father at night

in his cold swimming pool you still fish your

father died I wrote you my first poem you

and my brother you stayed he left came

back the valley you canoe the Matta-

besset past the sewage there are meadows

Connecticut you drink too much you grow

your beard you do not rest the swimming pool

untended you fill it with what you catch

runs off the backs of what we have not burned

Connecticut river through brown stone brought

to Brooklyn the elevated body

another river abstracted valley

the money made work made the 1840s

a hole in the ground fills with rain

and rust the time does into us

in the morning I become no one leave

your bed before dawn up the river drive

home (Portland: come on over) to work break-

fast make the coffee for the world to make

the world to make the small money return

of time the day came up today again

up the brown hill the other side I see it

up the brown hill the other side I see it

quiet lay the hills lay on the hills light

afternoons snow books birches the college

made of library windows sheets of light

lay on the hills snow before the dark comes

down the valley the other side the water

made mills made canals made Utica

third city millions then rust how valley

fell into light and time into water goes

back to Manhattan I didn’t know I

was reading money’s war reading Em-

erson the richest I was and was not

in the library to try to see the hill

and valley before the dark comes down

Katie Naughton up the brown hill notes

Katie Naughton is a poet living in Buffalo, NY, where she is a PhD student in the Poetics program at SUNY - Buffalo. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Colorado State University. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming from jubilat, flag + void, Grama, and Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight. Her poem “warming ending what it may you persist” won an Academy of American Poets College and University Poetry Prize in 2018 and was published on poets.org.