Of all my poems, this probably is my favorite. It's not the best--I can see that--it's just the one I like the most. It appeared in Hidden Oak.
Looking out over the land of retired bison,
where Indians haven’t been seen a hundred years,
the farmers shift their chaw and think of changes.
Maybe the tractor threw another rod.
Maybe the banker’s wife had a bad night.
Someday, they say, the sea will reach Missouri.
But they don’t know. They’re tired of alfalfa
and soybeans and corn. They think they’ll sit
up in their lofts on rockers, watching the tides.
It’s all in plate tectonics, is what they say.
Me, I think that grasses and sycamores
are safer to be predicted here than tuna.
Somehow I can’t imagine Mom and Dad
parking their dory in the new garage
or rowing bagels to Grandma every Sunday.
I’d like to see the moon reflected back in spume
over the vanished town of Moberly.
I hear them wish that everything that stales
washes away and grows a coral shell.
I like to dream, but hopefulness has its limits.