I glide the blacktop
silently through rolling land
before the glyphos rains
on Mellencampís plowed gimme-cap nation
with blood on their iron yet again.
A 24-row cultivator
parked on an empty concrete
slab lifts up the clouds
where there used to be a home.
The benign corn
tickled by the wind
runs on in nearly endless rows
to a far forest where a flash
of yellow paint is pushing trees over.
In the town where
fading plywood was too precisely
hammered over the church doors and windows
the Lutherans leaned on God a long time ago
and didnít know what to ask for.
I hallucinate shining milk cans
in front of yards full of flowers
and cattle being led by children
and their eager dogs
down a dirt road.
Suddenly I reach the Interstate
and my way east toward the Mississippiís
grain barges, locks and fog.
The long cemetery row
of brown towns still try
all the way to the Gulf
to be the pastís future impression
of things that only once were proud
and are only owned by taller cities elsewhere.
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