Gwendolyn Soper

Our Town

Horseshoe Mountain—draped in a snowy

kitchen apron in spring times—rests her back

against the blue sky. She’s propped up reading

the landscape of old paths nearly filled in

with mounding swards of Baltic rush,

a few telephone poles, and ancient lilacs so tall

and wide that an outhouse could fit inside

hidden by purple. It’s where

you lie down in green rushes near dry cow-pies

because the conk-la-ree of Red-wing blackbirds

was too beautiful to hear, and a bee with saddlebags

of pollen buzzes in a poppy near your ear.

You see flashes of crimson épaulettes when

blackbirds all swoop from the blue to perch

on long lines of matriarchs: grey, weathered

fence poles shorn of branches and buds, how

they play a lazy game of red rover, too old to run—

their barbed wire arms lifted—holding hands

an iron grip on memories breezing through

of pioneer women in faded dresses

planting lilac cuttings in dark and watered holes.

Source: Sisyphus, Issue 9.1: The Hope Issue, Hip Pocket Press