Monday, May 1, 2006

Prairie Winds

Prairie Wind

you draw your hand
across my
hip as
we
watch the billowing
of sun-bleached cotton
sheets whipping in the
wind on
a tightly strung clothesline
just beyond the
hope of
peonies at edge of a vegetable 
garden we dream of
filled with colors
foreign in
the dry beige of
a prairie august

the air crackles
with its threat of the storm we watch
move closer
and closer
from miles away
across the vast
gray sky
of a
kansas
summer afternoon

cottonwoods
near the
dry creek bed
turn the underbellies
of their dusty leaves
toward the
sky to catch what
little moisture will fall...
first gently...and then with a vengence...
between the veins
that line 
their fingers
reaching up to touch the
sun
now hidden behind black clouds

we stand calloused
hand in
calloused hand
listening for the
first rustlings of
a prairie wind to
touch the grasses
just beyond the
fence line
and watch a wave of
golden
grain
roll towards our ankles

it comes in like the foam
of the sea we
left
far behind
in the wake of
ruts from our wagon
wheels
through mud and
dust and
rain-soaked
passes

i hear it now
the soft
breeze that will soon
grow to roar
through
the cracks in
our sod house where
grasses grow above our
heads and
crickets and beetles
share the dirt
floor with
toddlers and
bare-footed boys who
whoop and
holler like the injuns
they only think they wish
to see
on the ridge above the
lean-to where
our one milk cow
finds the only shade
on this treeless sea of
grass and
dust

you are here
until you
go
to town

i watch the wagon
until all
i can see is the dust
your wheels
kick up
along the rutted
path that
takes you
where I cannot see ....
even farther than
beyond the
horizon that sits so close to
the setting sun
that I am sure
you will return
as purple as the
sky she
casts her
light upon

you will bring me
ribbons as
blue and pink
as sky and
clouds
sugar for
cakes and
sweet tea that never
gets colder than the
earthen tomb I keep
the crock in below the
roots of
a once upon a tree
that now lies ancient and
stoic near the back
door
her trunk and branches
the only shade the old
yellow dog can
find when
the sun is in the west and
the house no longer
casts her
shadow on the
ground

you will bring
a canary
this time
one that will sing
when the
winds stop blowing and
there is no sound
to protect me from the
madness that comes
from
never hearing
anything but your
own voice

come home across the
treeless
sea of
grassses taller
than our
almost grown
boy with
eyes as
green as new hay
and
hair the color
of the
wheat
you
drive our
wagon through

come home
and
hold me
in the hollow of
the night
silent
as the eye
of a storm

come home and
I will watch
your brown back
bent over
plow and
hoe
and
water trough
I will weep
tears
of
gratitude
that
you
have
found your way through
the grasses
along the
hot breath of
prairie
winds
to
lay your hand
along my
hip
and watch 
sheets and
clouds
and
grasses
billow and blow
beneath
a
canopy of sky as
blue
as
your eyes




K.

1 comment:

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