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Lower Fairchild Building
Taylor Graham


Shops still closed. There’s no one else afoot,
and hardly any traffic, only the pulse
of7 a.m.on a Monday morning; only my dog
and I raising infinitesimal dust.

Outside what began as Fairchild’s Pharmacy,
I stop to read the placard history:
how, digging for the foundation, they uncovered
gold enough to pay for the whole building,

$16,000 back in 1903. How the soda fountain
was topped in marble,
and they sold barb wire oil
to cure chapped hands and saddle galls.

My dog passes the time sniffing
a weed that grows from a crack in sidewalk
where some other dog left its mark;
my dog adept at reading the history of his kind.

Main Street lies deserted
atop what’s laid down like foundation
over dusty earth, holes of history
we can peer into, still looking for gold.

by Taylor Graham.
Used with the author’s permission.

Taylor Graham lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills, where she is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler. Appointed last year as El Dorado County's first poet laureate, Taylor is enjoying learning more about the history—both human and natural—of that area. She's also conducting monthly readings and read-arounds, as well as a weekly poetry workshop. Taylor's most recent book is Uplift (Cold River Press, 2016). Learn more about her at




Post New Comment:
I reaLly enjoyed this poem--thank you!
Posted 03/22/2017 08:27 AM
Excellent. Very evocative.
Posted 03/22/2017 07:15 AM
I love these 'holes of history'. They tell as much as they hide. Thanks for such a thought-provoking poem.
Posted 03/22/2017 03:54 AM

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