It is August, some late afternoon, and Limestone
and me are idling the back roads, half-gone,
our minds leaned onto a 12-pack of Coors
that sits between us like a best friend. In rhythm
with each beer, we drive deeper into our past,
stare through the hazy windows of our childhood,
or cruise by the abandoned shacks of overheard
stories. Then, just before the last can spins
into the ditch, the cowboy is blessed
with discovery—tells me our ancestors
have been near all along. His Chevy rockets
down the road. My side mirror reflects
the dog, flying in the back, his face streamlined
by the wind, his tongue wet-twisted
to his ears. Dust vortexes across the hot back
of summer, and I am along for the ride.
We stop at the quarry. Limestone gets out slow,
then describes how years ago our grandfather’s
fathers worked here. Explains how someday,
it will be a million. “There ain’t no length to time,”
he lectures. Mystified, the cowboy mumbles
something about Atlantis. Describes how the island
didn’t sink, how the continent of Kansas emerged,
soaked up, flattened out, everything. Surrounded
by fossils, we stand in the pit for what could be ages
listening to the voice of some old ocean. Shuffling
across the pages, Limestone wanders across history.
Rock dust collects on his boots. Briefly, I am abandoned.
– Greg German was born and raised near Glen Elder, in north central Kansas, where he farmed with his family for many years. He currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas, with his wife Regina and son, Alden. He is a private consultant specializing in technical communication, web site development, free-lance writing and photography. He holds a B.A. degree in English/Creative writing and a B.S. in Education from Kansas State University. Previously, Greg has taught high school English and, creative writing at both the high school and college levels. He also developed and maintains www.kansaspoets.com — a website unique to Kansas Poets. Greg’s poetry and personal essays have appeared in over 50 literary journals across the U.S.
– April’s Guest Editor, Roy Beckemeyer, edits scientific journals and writes poetry and essays. His poetry has recently been accepted by or appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Nebo, Mikrokosmos, The North Dakota Quarterly, Straylight, and Coal City Review. He has lived in Wichita, Kansas for nearly 50 years, and has degrees from St. Louis University, Wichita State University and The University of Kansas.
He notes: “In the poem series I have chosen for April, I have focused on works that define our sense of Time and Place by the people we know, the people we interact with, the people we live with. “