Maybe I don’t have to be good, but I
still want to be so badly. Tonight taking
out the trash had to come before making
dinner, had to make some suffering kind
of sense after so many hours with my
eyes at a glowing screen. Tonight taking
out trash was all I had of making
any kind of difference. There was trash. I
took it out. Grey-orange clouds held almost
rain. Then a noise, a solicitation,
a squawking calling me to seek it out.
I have never found the North Star. Its hope
comes and goes. But, a carnal direction
calls these geese home. I almost see it now.
Shelly Krehbiel, a Kansas native, grew up on a wheat farm in Lane County north of Garden City. She holds a BA from Pittsburg State University and an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Midwest Quarterly, Sulphur River Literary Review, and The Fourth River. She currently lives in Eugene, Oregon, where she works as a manager in the travel industry.
Stephen Meats, recently retired from teaching and administration at Pittsburg State University, is the author of a mixed genre collection of poems and stories, Dark Dove Descending and Other Parables (Mammoth Publications, 2013) and a collection of poems, Looking for the Pale Eagle (Woodley Press, 1993; expanded edition, Mammoth Publications, 2014). His poems, stories, and scholarly writings have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including more than two dozen articles on Whitman, Faulkner, and other writers in The Literary Encyclopedia. He has been poetry editor of The Midwest Quarterly since 1985. For his guest editorship, in addition to poems with Kansas associations, he asked contributors to submit work dealing with shore birds and water birds, if moved to do so, in recognition of his and his wife Ann’s recent move to Florida.