This Town by Lisa Hase-Jackson

Downtown Main Street is stilllisa hase-jackson

mostly the same. The wrought


iron benches around the square

have all been repainted glossy black

and folks still ignore business

in favor of conversation. Store front


windows are thicker at the bottom

than they used to be, and the Christmas wreath

in the antique mall, thick with wood smoke

and dust, is perennial now.

Flour sacks are still buck a piece

at Koger’s Five and Dime. Yesterday


I passed my first

crush on second street. He

didn’t recognize me,

or pretended not to. He

always said he wouldn’t farm,

probably still works for the County

and rides his Harley to the city

on weekends it doesn’t rain. The Burkes’

lost another son

if the church marquee is any indication.

I expect folks’ll make casseroles and breads

for the funeral reception and the weeks
that follow, help out with planting in the spring

maybe even the harvesting come fall,
being sure to mark their good deed
on the feed-store calendar held
up by the bank magnet

on their refrigerator door.

~ Lisa Hase-Jackson

Lisa Hase-Jackson holds a Master’s Degree from Kansas State University and is pursuing an MFA from Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. She is the Reviews Editor for South 85 Journal and facilitates two poetry blogs: and 200 New Mexico Poems. Recently, her poems have appeared in such literary magazines as Sugar Mule, Kansas City Voices, Pilgrimage, and As/Us Journal and anthologized in To The Stars Through Difficulty: A Kansas Renga, and Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga.

Guest Editor: Israel Wasserstein, a Lecturer in English at Washburn University, was born and raised on the Great Plains. Her first poetry collection, This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, was a 2013 Kansas Notable Book. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Blue Mesa Review, Flint Hills Review, and elsewhere.


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