For Sandy

He uses fencing wire,
strings it trunk to trunk four trees down.
Like a hand to a cross,
he nails it to elm bark
so she can hang
clothes in the same Nebraska wind
that burns and bleeds the
life from her face.
He "can't afford new goddam storm windas."
So she hangs
blue one, red ones, and waits
for July hail storms
to rip silk from sweet corn,
grind sugar from beets
and doesn't cry when
nothings left.
He "can't afford a new goddam car."
So she parks a block from the junior high
and waits for children whose
heads hang on to the ground.
She drives away slowly,
so that no one sees or hears
who they are or which way
they are going.
He "can't afford a new goddam dryer."
So she hangs
clean clothes between tree trunks
that have grown over wire
strung through elm bark
and the wind dries the clothes like
the cracks in her
Farm-wife face.

Claudia Loomis

Copyright © 2000 Claudia Loomis

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