Come Morning Kansas Will Be New by William Emery


Contractions bring snow.

February the seventh:

the tyrant drought blinks.



Olga eats red grapes,

chicken broth, and jasmine rice

from proffered teaspoons.


Lavender oil

calms. Our doula untangles

dueling stethoscopes.


Expectant father,

bright in the ghetto Dillons,

buys food for breast milk.



The mill grinds wheat on

the choked Smoky Hill for the

pizza factory.



Haiku in the space

time between painjoy shouts.

Seconds. Syllables.



It is time to leave

the carriage house of the Lee

Mansion where we live.



Olga breathes dragon

breaths. Snow crystals, black coat, our

Volkswagen Jetta.



The hospital like a

catcher’s mitt. Elevator

dings on every floor.



Downtown below us,

the Masonic Temple too.

Such gargoyle heights.



We don’t know any

better. We tell you to push

when you want to wait.



Strange scissors that chew

through the umbilical cord.

Cry, needle. Wail, thread.


The traveler is

tired and sleeps. Come morning,

Kansas will be new.

~ William Emergy

William Emery is the author of Kodoku, a children’s book about the first man to sail alone across the Pacific Ocean, the nonfiction travelogue Edges of Bounty: Adventures in the Edible Valley, and the “sustainability punk” webcomic Engine. His poems have appeared in Mastodon Dentist, The Leveler, and To the Stars Through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga in 150 Voices. He is a founding member of Ad Astra Books and Coffee, a worker-owned cooperative bookstore in Salina, Kansas and former acquisitions editor at Heyday Books.


One thought on “Come Morning Kansas Will Be New by William Emery

  1. Reblogged this on William Emery and commented:
    150 Kansas poems has published a series of haiku I began while my wife, Olga, labored at home with our son Abram. The atmosphere of calm leading to moments of great intensity seemed a natural fit for haiku, and I found my counting of her contractions lead into counting 5,7,5. The poems are a sweet document of a rare time.

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