Post-weekend Poetry 083: Pine River by Bill Schwalm

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the eighty-third poem in this series. This week’s piece is by Bill Schwalm.

Pine River

You sang and we listened.
I heard the music long after it ended.
Smoke drifted on the river.
Later a screech owl passed
over the tree tops in starlight.
I am old.

If you ever return to Pine River,
perhaps in August, on foot or by bus,
you will see some of the boys you used to know
in the faces of the people on Main Street.


I asked Bill what prompted this piece and he said…

Pine River is a small, fictional northern US town.  My home town would do, half a century ago.   I the speaker had a secret crush on a nameless girl then.  She sang once.  Perhaps it was a part in a pageant.  She sang beautifully, and she was beautiful, and everyone was moved.  Sometime, after a few years perhaps, her family left town never to return.

The motive for writing the poem was to use the idea that certain faces become familiar in small towns, just by heredity.  Or so it used to be when people moved around less frequently.  These faces on Main Street may be the faces of the children or grandchildren of the boys she used to know.

It was lovely. Thank you, Bill.

Bill SchwalmBill Schwalm is unpublished as a poet.  He has been reading and writing poems since he was a boy.

He holds currently the position Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics & Astrophysics at The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

You can find Bill at


If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here or a poem for critique on the Online Poetry Writing Group (link below).

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