Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

106. Creek Play

If you look closely,

small, freckled limbs,

not yet diagnosed with MS,

make their way boldly

up a dusty hill once

mountainous in size.

A creek, both deep and dry,

drew us in season after season

as our bodies changed

and dreams grew larger

than the skies.

Hiding, playing

cowboys and Indians,

each passing car

a threat from near and far.

Years later, shared dates and

hopes for future plans

left less time or attention

to barren, rugged beauty

of the land.

To climb those hills,

fill my nose with the dusty smell

of Kansas sneezing out

the ability to be young again.

We searched for fossils,

dinosaur teeth and arrowheads,

found rattlesnakes and cow skulls.

I became a mother and a writer.

You manufactured crack -

just think about that.

If we went back and did it again,

would the sunset still inspire,

would our desire to escape

have changed?

Would my body, spasming in pain,

be made whole again?

Would you still be imprisoned,

feeling the brutal Kansas winter

from within a castle prison

on the prairie?

– Ronda Miller

Ronda Miller moved to Lawrence from NW Kansas where she attained degrees in Creative Writing, University of Kansas. A certified Life Coach, graduate of World Company Citizen Journalism Academy, author of The 15Oth Pony Express Re-ride, writes for The Examiner, created poetic form ‘Loku’, mother of one daughter and son.

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Comments on: "106. Creek Play" (10)

  1. Great to see Ronda’s poem. Very talented.

  2. Very nice ! I could feel, see, taste and smell the Kansas prairie.

  3. Rick Nichols said:

    I like the title and the imagery is good. As for the content, it’s somewhat depressing, which is certainly characteristic of some of the other poems that have appeared already.

  4. Yes, it is a bit dark but so is life. I loved it! Your poem really captured passages of life honestly and in matter of fact way. Nice job!

    • Ronda Miller said:

      I appreciate your comments all.

      Rick, sorry about the depressing part – it was more about how we can’t help but think how our lives could have been different if we’d taken a different road or made different choices. No regrets and it is what it is. The other person I speak about in the poem is not only succeeding, but a leader on assisting others to get and stay clean. It’s a life that has not only been salvaged but has likely helped for more than were harmed through difficult experiences.

      Claudia, thanks for the kind words. It’s important to share who we really are. I’ve got a great life, and I strive to share aspects of it in some of my poetry too. :)

  5. Congratulations on having a poem chosen. As they so often do, your poem tells “a story sad and deep as you.” I’d like to say I came up with that line but I borrowed it from Dave Mason’s song.

  6. I love Ronda’s poems – this is about my favorite. I think of it as “Happy/Sad” – just like life. Ronda’s poetry has helped me appreciate poetry – keep on writing!

  7. As usual, another great poem, Ronda. I can see the prairie through the child’s eyes.

  8. Such a marvelous poem, one full of gravitas and that Kansas earthiness and light.

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