Somewhere Along the County Line

Let’s take a detour off the interstate —
The roads are straight and intersect endless rows
of soybeans, seed corn and winter wheat.

Besides, if we get lost,
and spend our evening the only lights on this road
perhaps we’ll learn something important
(or at least we’ll think so in the morning)
about our selves, about our past
about a night sky we never get to see
from an apartment in the city.

Let’s take a slight pause,
which we have been taught to call a caesure

What we have translated from Latin
to describe the natural order of things
could fill more volumes, more rows of books
that would reach from here to the moon.

Besides, if we take the time,
someone else may mind these crops:
the shopping malls, the parking lots,
the cement and steel that surround us,
unfeeling and ever-present
stealing from us our pioneer spirit
by concealing the night sky
from our apartment window in the city.

Let’s take a detour from our books and things,
and venture out into a world we don’t experience —
unless reading bucolic poetry
from limited editions that cost more
than you’d like to recall.

Besides, the roses are not the only things
we have forgotten, their scent lost
in a carbon-monoxide haze that fills our lungs.
There is new-mown hay, clover and straw,
and there are flowers and wild plants
that we have only seen described
in pristine, crisply covered field guides.

Let’s take a slight detour off the interstate —
the roads are straight and intersect endless rows
of clover, soybeans, seed corn and winter wheat.

Besides, if we get lost,
we might learn something.

10 AUG 1991

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