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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Iowa: At the End of November

There's lots of turkey and noodles
turkey and rice soup
turkey vegetable soup
turkey bouillon
turkey pot pies
It doesn't seem to be centered
in Des Moines or Iowa City
just kinda all over

The harvest is pretty much over
oh sure some farmer is just
finishing up the 160
over by the river

It's have turkey and fall asleep
until after Christmas
with all the annual service work
It's not actual sleep
It's the kinda sleep
on automatic
There's the tree and shopping
Cousin Shirley needs something
Nobody is giving away her secret

It's also the time of year
when Iowa
decides its motto
for the next year
Missouri next door
just keeps the same one
year after year
That's how boring Missouri is

Someone will have a bright idea
but as always down by the river
it's hold that thought
and wait a hundred years

Nobody cares that
the great-great grandfather
settled in Afton in the 1830s
or that the move back
from some other state
was a really good idea
You mean your family left
And now you recognize
your familial mistake
and you're trying to make up
for it
That begins the Iowa Shame
There's no albatross to hang
around your neck here
It's an empty corn cob
festooned with dried soy leaves
and a fresh pig's tail
You wear that until it falls off

Last year's motto was
always the same
It came from the 1928
Iowa Bin of Great Thought
Notice there's only one thought
in that bin
I'm told there'll be another bin
in fifteen or twenty years
I'm thinking real hard

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Humming With Bach

Pianist Glenn Gould
famously hummed
with his recordings
of Bach
He gave me a gift
of being
there and here

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Out Damned Spot

I look deep into their eyes
and the lines upon their faces
knowing they aren't here
but gracing the shadows with frowns

I remember the sudden spill
that seemed to cover the world
sitting beside the waves of lace
on a red mahogany ocean

Somewhere my grandmother still
tries to clean the stain from threads
handed to her by dear enstrustors
who well knew little boys' wild arms

It's not who puts a spot on cloth
but the ghosts who return
to dance this family love upon it
sliding through the gravy of time

Barry G. Wick