Today's poem is by Mark Conway

Life on the Prairie, Continued

We've come to a scarcity of ocean and
admire so much — the high relief
of mountains, an aroused sense of lilacs,

the heifer's benign stare — we lose track
of what we sacrifice. Why do we stay
when we didn't build these phony sets

and we know the carpenters were drunk?
We pitch our tents on temporary plains,
billed as former mountains. You can see

the mainsails rising in the wheat. It's flat
enough to find your body where you left it
last night — just thread your hand through

the finger holes and flex. Prairie lore
suggests it's traditional to lay out attractive
magazines, to fashion an ethnic waiting room.
You understand, it's customary to wait.

First Body

May and the great trees rage,
white sap burned up
into leaves. Turn
and beneath the branches see
    the actual air
moving, hesitant, green.
        This is when the soul knows
it has a body,
     by wanting
to leave it.

In the morning, bowed
under blue rain, geese beat
their heavy way back
  to the city-state
of mud. Rising, the wings groan,
  trying to fly away
from the body.

was hard, the cold broke
weak and strong, together. Stay
      and watch the robins scream
over scattered barley.

      This is how we came to
love this life —
    by wanting
the next.

Copyright © 2005 Mark Conway All rights reserved
from Any Holy City
Silverfish Review Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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