Heartland

Heartland

I

Some soft
summer mornings

we’d take
our little lane

west, on what
our parents

once called
a Sunday drive.

Roads here
were built

for horse
and carriage

and meander
like streams

searching for
a lost river.

When at times
the early fog

takes
possession

of the earth,
we drive

more from
memory

than vision—
secure

in our
obscurity.

II.

This morning
the fog

is thick
as Burma-Shave

and I imagine
an invading

army
padding silently

over the ridge
on elephants

and camels
to await

the blooding
of the sun.

But here
in the heartland,

we’ve little
left

to defend.
The young

and the able
long for more

than mastering
the s-curves

down Shawnee Ridge
and $7.50 an hour

at Burger
Den downtown.

They seem to know
from birth

that all our roads
lead only

to somewhere
else.


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