White sheet on a clothesline unfurls an argument with noon heat.
It flaps the air as if to change the wind’s direction.
Far from any ocean, lying on a blanket in the grass,
a child imagines sail, sea and whitecaps.
Yet, from his prairie-land harbor,
anchored like grass resisting erosion,
he can’t imagine change.
His horizon line is along a green field
that’ll turn gold, then black, then white—
a life cycle in four colors.
One day leave this landlocked moment
to sail into that field
row by row,
through all its seasons
and his own.
This poem began as a visualized scene, a concept . . . mixed with sensory memories, feelings. How does one translate that into words? The process began months ago. However, poems—any writing—can remain as a file or handwritten note until forgotten. Fortunately, sometimes there are writing prompts or early readers and friends who remind and urge us to keep going. May we find and revise those rough drafts in our files and thank the ones who encourage us! Thanks here to Julie and Skip who suggested the title to this poem. Titles don’t come easy—I often ask for help!
Sometimes an unfinished poem is like a landlocked ocean explorer.
Sometimes it takes a prompt to find the waterway.