Poetry of Kansas

Prairie Town

There was a river under First and Main,
the salt mines honeycombed farther down.
A wealth of sun and wind ever so strong
converged on that home town, long gone.
 
At the north edge there were the sand hills.
I used to stare for hours at prairie dogs,
which had their town, and folded their little
    paws
to stare beyond their fence where I was.
 
River rolling in secret, salt mines with care
holding your crystals and stillness, north prairie
what kind of trip can I make, with what old friend,
ever to find a town so widely rich again?
 
Pioneers, for whom history was walking through
    dead grass,
I and the main things that happened were miles
    and the time of day-
you built that town, and I have let it pass.
Little folded paws, judge me: I came away.

__William Stafford.

The Darkness Around Me Is Deep
William Stafford
(New York: HarperCollins. 1993)
Page 106

 
Kansas:  Poetry  History  Towns  Counties  Colleges  Libraries  Museums

October 30, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

Blue Skyways Kansas on the Net   Visit the Home Page for Kansas
  A service of the Kansas State Library