County


By Mark Luebbers

The roads in these farm lands run along the rules of vector
and radius. Reaching small towns, they become brittle
and hollow streets, which bisect mostly hard standing structures,
emptied, made of brick or wood, containing occasional persons.
Between each road and town, the green areas are conscribed
and managed, more or less according to practices of profit, chemistry,
and using appendaged machines. Fields rest, divided by standing
or leaning fences, and walls of stones, upright or stumbling along.

Property is purpose in this landscape. Docile animals, populating
low barns, or standing in squared spaces, sway in the weather.
Wheeled machinery, red or green, for inscribing, medicating,
and culling from the swaying earth, churns and labors, or idles.
Land of collection: the standing or swaying animals, vehicles in care
or decay, wheeled toys upturned, fading in the weather, appliances
agape, furniture from a near or distant room, presented on the land,
presided over by insects from the fields, and guarded by harping birds.

Arranged around small metal houses, or old wooden houses, outside doors
and windows: all these possessions, settling down and into the used earth
each particle with each rain, as though it all might soon be subsumed,
determined for a particular moment to germinate, and grow new.


I'm a teacher and live with my wife, sons and dog in Cincinnati. While I'm a reluctant suburbanite, I've also found this very conventional place to be a fertile landscape for poems about the odd juxtapositions of the natural and man-made worlds. My poems have appeared in Miller's Pond Review and Intuitions.