Prairie

by Eric Freeze

I've tried to peel it,
pry it open.

There is no time for this.

No time to take the shades
under a culvert,
the rocks and lanky brome,
and have them account for childhood.

No time to explain heritage:
Nana and her bastard child.
They welcomed the prairies
for their plainness—
the even layers of soil,
the years ideal for farming,
the humming grid of roads.
It's erosion—
chinooks and winters
blow the years away.
Living the prairie
gives no meaning
to our deaths.
It didn't bear us,
but tears like a
vagrant swath
through hay.