Prairie Poetry   
  Platte Valley Farm in Central Nebraska

We dealt so much with life back then.
I remember the tension belt we strapped
around the tree trunk of the old evergreen,
its back nearly broke after the winds of 92.
Trustworthy corn plants who sprung each spring
I never knew how, only that soil was good.

Pulling calves from paralyzed mothers
with one rope end to the protruding legs,
the other end to the Ford Ranger ball hitch,
slow and easy so it would fall softly to the ground,
sliding immense bodies over the creek bank
with the loader bucket after overnight blizzards.

Multi-colored feral cats plotted against fanged rats
coyotes sang nightmare lullabies to plump rabbits, 
fingers tended lilac bushes, caressed limbs of mulberries.
So many hands playing parts in so many lives.
Did I learn to appreciate life? I don’t know.
I just don’t know.

  Rick Marlatt
  Copyright © 2008 Rick Marlatt
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