Prairie Poetry   
  2 Miles to Vicksburg: Crossing the Mississippi Bridge

I traded open skies that race
faster towards
flat-topped mesas than
this ‘86 Nissan
grasses that rake
my knees and thighs
as if searching for
more fertile skin beneath
I traded blueprint
eyes for the endless green
of Mississippi pines
and in going, I raced the asphalt
Pine bars became bodyguards
ushering away a failing
sun that kept begging me
" . . . stay . . . "
My knuckles shone
white - not in fear - but
in memory of
that fading
The bridge loomed
ahead, spilling
steel into a sky, otherwise
for precious metals
and I thought
of George Washington with his
white hair, coin in hand
Barges were lined, industrious
ants with only the sins
of New Orleans on their minds, but
at Vicksburg the bridge ended, and the road
slowed to a crawl

  Courtney Ivey
  Copyright © 2005 Courtney Ivey
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