A Sense of Place

I grew up on a  Southern Illinois farm which has been in the family since about 1850.  Much of who I am as a person and as a writer comes from this deep sense of place, yet change finds us no matter where we are.

Long View

The farm transforms
as soil turned over.

Only broad outlines remain the same:
border between wheat and wood,
rises and washes,
the far tree line when facing southwest
which breaks, revealing the high fields
beyond Horse Creek.

Held in Memory

The farm transforms

as soil turned over.

A spark in the grain bin

burned down the barn

which was then rebuilt.

The house succumbed
to flames years later.

A small bungalow stands in its place.

Old locust trees in the yard

withered away in that fire.

Elms were planted, grew then died,

replaced by gum and linden.

Two sheds fell from the weight

of time and neglect.

The surviving outbuildings
of bare, weathered wood

were sheathed in metal which matches

the bungalow’s pale yellow.

Only broad outlines remain the same:

border between wheat and wood,

rises and washes,

the far tree line when facing southwest

which breaks, revealing the high fields

beyond Horse Creek.

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