In the Ghost Town, Where My Mother Was Born

— Lesa Medley

In the ghost town, where my mother was born
I see the slatted floorboards of the porch
of the hotel—I see the old porch swings
The hotel has been newly remodeled
It is now a cozy Bed and Breakfast
Weathered wooden Indian and Cowboy
Are still standing guard—as they have for years

Sagebrush, Juniper trees and tumbleweeds
Frozen stillness in the pea soup thick fog
Silent schoolyard, stagecoaches and jail house
Long empty City Hall and Wagon Yard
Shaniko wasn’t always a ghost town—
It was once “The Wool Shipping Capital”
Bustling with sheep, cattle, people and noise
Railroad, grain elevators and blacksmith

Moonshine peddlers, ranchers, and sheepherders—
Mule skinners and railroad men were there too
I can feel the pulse of what must have been
The house my mother was born in is green
I had always remembered it as pink
But things change—the way things will always change
In the ghost town, where my mother was born.