For my friends in Kansas:
“Home Town” by William Stafford
Peace on my little town, a speck in the safe,
comforting, impersonal immensity of Kansas.
Benevolence like a gentle haze on its courthouse
(the model of Greek pillars to me)
on its quiet little bombshell of a library,
on its continuous, hidden, efficient sewer system.
Sharp, amazed, steadfast regard on its more upright citizenry,
my nosy, incredible, delicious neighbors.
Haunting invasion of a train whistle to my friends,
moon-gilding, regular breaths of the old memories to them
the old whispers, old attempts, old beauties, ever new.
Peace on my little town, haze-blessed, sun-friended,
dreaming sleepy days under the world-champion sky.
“Home Town” by William Stafford from Another World Instead.