On The Highway Around Urbana

I went through Paris
and Isabel
through the broadlands
to Urbana
The chicory hugging the road
smooth and paved

Obama country
The grand prairie
Field corn for
a billion
sow bellies
Whose red barns
Whose glory waves
Red, white and chicory

The poisoned fields
The oiled fields the
exported glory contorting

The morning sun behind me
And hope is a spider’s web

Everything a beautiful ruin
As I turn North toward
The Kankakee


Forget about what I said
About hope being a spiderweb
I got it all wrong
That’s not it at all

Hope is a young mother
With her baby in a sling
And her husband and she
Who studied in Vermont
A-making a go of it
on the old family farm in Illinois

A belted galloway under their
belt and a feeling in
My pocked after having been
with her
Hearing her say my name
Seeing her smile and look
up at me with her head
slightly lowered
That feeling
Those full sails inspired
The joy of the common life

What holy ghosts
inspire smooth sailing in

They are the hope that
floats among us

The light, high clouds
on the first cool days
of summer’s end


Art by Sandy Roob


5 thoughts on “On The Highway Around Urbana”

  1. I so missed your poems! So good to see them pouring out again like Arizona monsoon rains, intense, unpredictable, hopeful and uplifting. Please kiss that beautiful Illinois soil for me despite poisoned fields, beautiful.

    1. You’re too kind. I was only in Illinois for a day. Back now. I ate some blackberries while there so I suppose that’s kind of like a soil kiss. Peace.

  2. This is good.

    Traces of the joy of the common life run in our blood even if/when we don’t realize it. Can it heal the “oiled fields”? the exportation?

    not sure, but hope so

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