look at old kansas in the corner

everyone laughs

they always do

stared into the sun for too long

went blind went crazy

went way too fast on icy roads

and drinks to dowse a burning mistake


he says –

i remember the black and white days

back in goodland

the spencer girls in tight cotton dresses

                  walking back from church

                  in the sweet heat of summer

shutters slapping the old henderson house

most nights i could hear them


before you were born

the sky was sepia



you’re hearing ghosts – old kansas in the corner

he sits slouching with a bible and a bell

the old man knocks one  back and spins faster

                  in the world of whiskey


he says –

i dug the earth for fifty years

i’m a fifth generation to plow these fields

but the crop is thin these days


the red plains yawn under the  new sun

like beasts yoked for labor



Kevin McCoy


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