Today's poem is by Karen Kevorkian

Once I Was in Wyoming

Once I was in Wyoming
Wind at night
tiny toenails of mice in the walls
liquid graffiti

so afraid of
stepping on one
or where they had been

always wearing shoes
even after a bath

unthinkable to touch

at dusk looking out the windows
at the not-too-distant
brown ground

undulant with
small brown rabbits

and in the daylight fear of snakes.
I would sit outside but always
no no not my feet in the air
but almost.

Tell me this.
Why are lives so full? I don't mean
I mean like a bucket teeming with
the small jumping green

the wanting-to escape.
At noon I courted heat in the yard.

The small cedar tree
skull of a deer the few branches
of its antlers. I waited

for sun to burn leaves
from the hackberry wispy

papery things. All afternoon I would listen

hard. Wind in the tall grass by the road.
The aluminum gate chained to a cedar post
chattering. You had to yank it

free the chain. But the chain bound the post
so tightly I could barely. Then

more gravelly road but pretty soon
no more tall grass pretty soon

rocky fields. Brilliant feathers dead pheasant

loud announcement in the weeds. No trees
on the horizon

absurd as a shout. In the far away
the Tetons

hawks surging on
drifts of air. I filled my eyes
with what seemed like nothing.

Splitting cedar logs with an axe
the dark metal cleaving the red heart

squirrels writhing in the gray trees
leisurely as smoke
still an occasional red clot
in the withering brown

pain that disheveled
squirrel's nest

leaves bunched at the end of a dead limb

something easy for the wind.

Copyright © 2006 Karen Kevorkian All rights reserved
from White Stucco Black Wing
Red Hen Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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