The golden grain stretched out like sheets
upon the Kansas plain, like birthright, innocent
behind the festered sun.
Some were unaware of upstarts
in the rolling Minnesota countryside,
defiant to the blistering avalanche of corn.
There were the sidewise glances,
prudent in their reticence, worn pencils
tucked behind their bibs, the markets'
vagaries aswim, Chicago far the east of home.
In Iowa as well,
the warriors of the plough,
the timeless men of bread,
the conquerors of earth and sinew,
beast and baronet,
to thread the cloth of motherland
before our birth.
Thereto in Illinois, my cradle sanctuary
nested from the mountains
and the alien sea; I was the listener
within this deep midwestern ground.
It is not still where I have been;
the voices and the footfalls
make their print in time
and may not be erased.
And though my ashes fly in space
my breath, my bliss, my bower
rests forever in the heartland of the earth.