Prairie Poetry  peer award 
  Wild Onions

In this brittle village
only two streets,
only wind-worn houses and vacant lots
of cracked sandy soil and crab grass,
wild onions and swarms of grasshoppers
that click and flee in arcs
before eager sunburned children
with rubber-soled shoes.

At the edge of prairie
lonely scrapes at my window.
Crickets trill
in the too black hot night,
my young body
drenched in dampness,
starry eyes clipped from movie magazines
blind on my bedroom walls.

Mom’s old Austin, packed with smoking girls,
rumbles east south west north
over and over.
Only two streets.
We wave the finger with every pass of the school,
the barrier between here and real life.

I shift gears,
cigarette clenched between red lips.
No license, no cops
at the end of nowhere.
We suck hard, pucker, blow smoke rings,
talk about boys,
park the Austin in a dusty field
and squat.

  Joyce Middlestead
  Copyright © 2006 Joyce Middlestead
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