I grew up in quiet college towns,
my schoolmates farm kids, children of professors,
occasional minorities. I learned to drive
on unintimidating country roads, through waves
of gold and green to other wider seas.
Fifty years later, the wanderer returns
to find the center hard, unwelcoming. I stand
on foreign territory; narrow roads throw dust
in strangers’ eyes, the limestone fenceposts guard
dry fields which once had room enough for all.
— Sue Peters