Poetry: Prairie Rose | clivejames.com
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Prairie Rose

Inside my dream the towns fall by us one by one:
Laredo, Rocky-Neck and Sprute.
I am asleep beneath the jury-rigged tarpaulin
in the night cot of your cousin's mobile home,
the air thick as corn soup.

The tire noise slackens as we pull in at
a drowsy joint called Maria Eleana's.
Her jukebox sings dobro and Hank
and an outfit called The Tuscaloosa Boys.
The intricate needlework on your boots
twinkles like pinpricks in black card
and the liquefaction
of your denim bolero
as it sidles to a blue-grass waltz
hits me over the heart like a high calibre round.

'Wake up, wake up,' you shook me,
'there's a tornado headed this way.'
And I saw that Satan's index finger
doodle devastation along the highway.
'Kansas this aint, Rose.' I explained,
'and there's no way home.'
'But we are home.'