Nebraska


I know Nebraska.

It’s by Iowa, next

To it, beneath it, west,

To the left .  I know Iowa

There’s a river there, in Iowa

Where I crossed and

My foot tickled water

With a stream of red silk; I

Fell ill from there.

I’ve seen Nebraska.

From the sky, I think it was

Nebraska, or perhaps a quilt

Covering Nebraska, but it was golden,

Like your hair, as wavy, as thick

This grain atop earth.

Nebraska is not a place

I remember, not a place

From my childhood, I never

Summered there, it never

Appeared in an essay

About what I did or where

I had gone.

But now Nebraska stands

In front of me, bold, barefoot

A scarecrow perhaps amidst a field

Of green-to-yellow corn; Nebraska

Stands in front of me, fresh

Untilled, quiet

And yet quickly violent, tossing

Its earth high as a pin pokes

The plains.  Nebraska,

You are a song in reeds

Which line creek beds; Nebraska,

You are the stretch of dusk

On a flat, broad edge; Nebraska,

you are sleepy, cool nights.