Somewhere in the Dakotas

Somewhere in the Dakotas

I don’t have a painted pony but a rented Hyundai to speed west
                   across the northern plains.
I feel the might of galloping stallions as the speedometer races past eighty
                                       and I have to rein it in.
Exit signs sing to me like sirens and fathomless waves of fields
                          tempt me to turn at every cryptic crossroad,
to follow them to some lost world like Kathryn or Gackle or Jud.

Miles later when the sun scours every living thing in gold,
                                             including my flaming Hyundai,
it is then that Willa Cather’s words slip from the open mouth of sky.
                           And if I “never arrived anywhere,
                                         it did not matter.
                                                  … what would be would be

South Dakota Review, 2005


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