The sunflower leaps out of the prairie
Foregrounded and unique with dozens
Of identical twins bobbing
Alongside the dusty section road.
This Nebraska corner,
At once fecund and desolate,
With its limitless horizon and sky
And limited possibilities.
Before immigrants emigrated here
The larks were here.
The river, the trees, the birds
Carried the weight of Willa Cather’s death and happiness:
“part of something entire,
whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge.”
They carried my weight, too,
One warm, breezy, September day.
I looked for Cather’s vistas
And ate lunch in her cousin’s house.
They support my purpose now,
My imaginative setting for philosophy
Written and inscribed here
As the river inscribes the hills.
The landscape bears the burden
Of poppies and people
Homes, hopes, ideas.
Gods holding back no one’s dreams.