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Poetry

Lansing, MI

Stevie Lee Edwards

In eighteen thirty-five, Indians knew better
              than to settle me, desolate swamp land. Two con men
                          from Lansing, New York, named me Biddle City, went home, sold me

in plots for false promises of a city, an Eldorado,
                        with a church and a school and a public square, 
                                    to sixteen men who ventured West to find only me—

floodplain swallowed in water. Disheartened, the men
            settled me, named me Lansing after their home,
                                    as if a name could build a city on my back.

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