S Mountain,
or, “We call it Tenderfoot”

Salidans love S Mountain, and so do I.
It reigns above the Arkansas,
Over little streets like a weathered ziggurat,
One road spiraling off its peak.
Though I’ve always clucked my tongue
At the sight of crosses carved or hearts
Or letters drawn on hills or mountain tops,
Somehow the giant S is a quiet marvel,
When it peers above low clouds
Like Olympus watching over the town,
A place for bicycles, rafts and tiny gods.
A girl named Shea says S stands for her.
A local preschool teacher/bartender
Says it actually is the number 5,
An oracle warning naïve nomads
How many jobs they’ll need
To survive here in paradise.


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