Our Town

Horseshoe Mountain—draped in a snowy
kitchen apron in spring times—rests her back
against the blue sky. She’s propped up reading
 
the landscape of old paths nearly filled in
with mounding swards of Baltic rush,
a few telephone poles, and ancient lilacs so tall
 
and wide that an outhouse could fit inside
hidden by purple. It’s where
you lie down in green rushes near dry cow-pies
 
because the conk-la-ree of Red-wing blackbirds
was too beautiful to hear, and a bee with saddlebags
of pollen buzzes in a poppy near your ear.
 
You see flashes of crimson épaulettes when
blackbirds all swoop from the blue to perch
on long lines of matriarchs: grey, weathered
 
fence poles shorn of branches and buds, how
they play a lazy game of red rover, too old to run—
their barbed wire arms lifted—holding hands
 
with an iron grip on memories breezing through
of pioneer women in faded dresses
planting lilac cuttings in dark and watered holes.

———

Source: Sisyphus, Issue 9.1: The Hope Issue. Hip Pocket Press. “Our Town,” by Gwendolyn Soper

Voetica, Berkeley-based site dedicated to spoken poetry. To hear the author read this poem, click here.

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