Prairie Poetry   
  The Wholly Ordinary

Three clouds stiff and chewy as potatoes on a thick, blue plate.
All that grass.  Dead or only half-alive, a scratchy yellow-brown that passes for landscape.
This is low-brow beauty, thick-packed cows, a snorting meadow of brown and black,
Each chunk of meat vying for that higher mound, that slightly more elevated view.
They catch a whiff of our car as we pass.  Freedom never looked so good.

The town’s no better.  All boarded up, bored.  Knotholes, bulletholes.
Angie’s kind of quick it seems, her name sprayed across a storefront.
So much sweat for fifteen minutes of latex fame.  What were they thinking, anyway?
We buy a Coke from a machine.  Damned thing's busted, drink’s already flat.
We pass up the pool and free phones at Scout’s Rest.  Everybody giddy on Gideon.

Nothing to keep us, so we keep on going. We keep on going even though we know
Nothing will look good to us there, either.  For a moment those pasty clouds
Turn pink and milky as the inside of a shell. The cows are velvet on an iridescent sea,
Their moans the bass string of a cello.  Wouldn’t be so bad if it was always like this.
The gauge reads low, but we head past town.  We hope to find something by sundown.

  Elizabeth Hughes Wiley
  Copyright © 2007 Elizabeth Hughes Wiley
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