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Kansas

I’m standing on it.

Corn kernels like a welcome mat

On the tight-slatted

Bridge over the path that

Runs by the river. Popcorn on sale at

The co-op. Someone must have spilled a bag.

Split. It’s hot.

Not summer yet.

That tree is thick

All pierced with blackbirds,

God it’s quiet.

Like that boy I cursed

Who threw salt

Cross his heart,

Burned a Ouija board. Might be bats

In the walls. What

Time is it? Central.

What’s the matter?

Getting hotter.

What if it started

Open my eyes: popcorn,

Popcorn, all of it

Popped. I stood back

Up. The blackbirds

In a seismic shimmer swooped

Away. Most of the popcorn

Floated off. Some bits

Went down to the river. Lots

Dissolved. The seagulls pecked

At the rest of it.

The blackbirds

Motionless, suddenly lit.

from Poetry Northwest 09.2 Winter & Spring 2015More by Adrienne Raphel from the library

Copyright © Adrienne Raphel
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

Published in Adrienne Raphel Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.