Great Plains Aisling
In a museum of desire-dreams,
lush late June grass and a volunteer lakelet.
It's hard to imagine waist-high
December fingerdrifts across
these dirt roads to abandoned homes.
The next big rain is days off.
More flooding by the weekend.
In the last town, FEMA was set up
in an old blacked-out movie theater.
If I turn around, I'll see again
a farmer and his realtor subdividing
ground adjacent to a two-lane road...
maybe so his daughters can buy
white face powder, oxblood lipstick,
and black velvet to become goth girls.
Earlier, some guy's sweet baby waved
from an SUV's side window,
perhaps loopy on weed,
thrilled with turquoise earrings
and a necklace bought weeks ago
in old Santa Fe. Earlier, it was beer
for breakfast at roadside,
a fruitless search for the meaning of anger.
I am sixty-six like a tarnished brass
doorknob in a cowboy town bordello.
The lakelet somehow reminds me
of potholders I made in grade school,
dusky deer taking water at sunrise,
countless Lone Ranger masks I owned
with matching school lunch boxes,
a lean and curvy Ely barmaid-angel
playing European with hairy armpits.
By warm evening I'll be two-hundred
miles away... in some Montana bar
nodding at boasts of flesh and trickery,
broken vows... smoker coughs...
wishing forever-peace to this
temporary jewel of cloud water.