What have we crumpled and tossed
into the trashcan across the blacktop
if not decades of forfeited days
and those broken-feathered
regrets pinned under glass. Groaning,
incapable of elegance, still I long
to be those undulating grains by
the roadside in the great between.
Crows caw out of sight as I pump
gas and watch your hair blowing
in the angled light. Sing me your
favorite birdsong. Whisper the cloud’s
name. Tomorrow we’ll dream in Iowa
of corn that is not just corn, but
the emblem of that junction between
innovation and form, function and all
that blisters under the sun’s unforgiving
eye. I want to infiltrate each kernel,
peer through the veiled yellow-white,
recover sweetness, flatten the curve.
“Nebraska” first appeared in the journal ONE ART. Thank you to editor Mark Danowsky for taking this piece.
I love this!
This captures October perfectly, RO. It makes me want to get back on the road, even though I know the season’s over and I’ll probably get stranded by a blizzard somewhere west of those fields. Also “sing me your favorite birdsong” is a line I might use in real life if the opportunity ever presents itself…
Beautiful words for the season 💚