Prairie Poetry   

In August the fields were burning
-- every new blaze a firecracker on the side of the road.
Shields was gone. The Tribune mentioned it once.
Tiny towns merit tiny mentions: an obituary for a place long dead.

You called to tell me to look across the river at the smoke on the other side.
The bar was in flames: where we met, where I stole our first kiss.
I cried. You laughed and told me a 100 year old building isn’t my home.

You went there a few weeks later, not too far.
Only a block from the church and a few feet from your father.
Smoke still stung our eyes as the bells rang you home.

No more need for a bar, for a stolen kiss, for a town too small for new beginnings.
They lie with you, as fragile and terrible as prairie fire.

  Susan Blight
  Copyright © 2004 Susan Blight
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