At the Museum of Don’t Come Back

Memory’s a stranger in a diner
eating the blue plate special,

rubbing one hairy ear with a spoon.
Don’t look back the way a train

leaves the station and the countryside
shrinks, the tiny red barns

glowing in warm yellow light.
What I have laid aside extends for miles.

I’ve been riding with the crop duster,
outdated county map in hand,

wheel and dive, wind bucking the struts,
following my instincts into the crosshatch

of fencerows, the cloud of forgetfulness
poisonous beyond the fields’ lush edges.

Each time it’s like visiting a museum,
the early years taming this midwest

glacial till. Scythes. Old threshing machines.
Frost on all the exhibits. Some kind

of raw rust on the plow blades.
The cold shine of preserved furrows.

-John Glowney

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