Sketches from a train

This is a series of poems written by Kathryn during her recent trip to Wisconsin.


the grapevines are swallowing Sandusky
trees along the tracks transformed to mammoth vegetable
every backyard that ticks by
ringed by a perceptibly thickening hedge
of indeterminate lineage
all the mowers are working time and a half
to keep these creeping
immigrants at bay
because when they’ve unpacked
their bags at last
shapes and sizes will finally defy definition
and one leaf will pretty much
look like every other


I saw a hill in Indiana
a very small hill
squatting diffidently in the midst of
a vastly recumbent landscape
flat roofs in flat acres of flat corduroy fields
God never did make that hill
someone left it there
and forgot it
until the kindly grasses
crept over it
to hide its shame


in Waterloo houses keep their faces
decorously averted
front door wreaths and
bay window flower boxes
welcome the familiar
the known
the safe
and the homely back garden
the abandoned toys
and forgotten tools
are left to face
the just-passing-through


trees congregate
in shaggy islands
alone or by twos or threes
amid the furred oceans of corn and soy
they murmur and plot their return

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