Nevada City: DeWitt

By Auburn’s pines and damp red dirt
I knew Highway 49 was getting into the Sierras.

Somewhere after Auburn the weather turned gloomy
and my horizon became a misty vicinity gliding toward Nevada City.

With no explanation the Greyhound abandoned its darkening highway
for an even more tenebrous road, off the printed schedule.

Fog grew thicker dripping through ever-more-dense evergreens
till we reached a Victorian pile somehow darker than its dark grey-green.

The lights-off bus hissed as we let off a black-coated, navy-scarved woman 
to wait at the gate of a tall iron fence surrounding the grounds.

Dimly lit, the sign she stood before informed (or warned?)
in wet bronze:  DeWitt / Asylum / for the / Insane.  

DeWitt?  By the time the name’s aptness hit me we were arriving
(National Hotel, Nevada City), the gloom merely nocturnal.