Prairie Poetry   

We planted the squash in long flowerboxes one Sunday;
it was raining and we bought too much fertilized soil, had to
go back and see the same cashier with her plush lips, red
and her apron snug around her breasts. She was so beautiful,
I wondered how she gardened. With or without gloves,
in any heat, with water, iced tea, or beer on the wooden step
she probably kneeled down on. Her hair was curled near
her face. She was the sister I never had, the best friend
I left behind when I moved here. We would have great talks
over midnight drives through the Flint Hills, somewhere
I have never been before, somewhere that looks good
on fire. When we left, my husband pushed the heavy cart
full of real topsoil, Midwestern earth, slippery and thick.
It felt like oil between our hands on our small deck, I poured
it all in the pots, and hoped for the best. The first morning
my husband left for work in the summer, and I was alone,
I watched from behind the glass. The leafy squash wandered
in the wind, but it was all sturdy, and packed in there. The night’s
hail didn’t touch it. I missed my friends. I put on some music
and stood there for hours. I wondered how different
the wind was here, how our hair blew in different directions
so far from one another. How slight the heat was, how direct
the clouds were about changing, and moving, all the time.

  Samantha Bell
  Copyright © 2008 Samantha Bell
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