71. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Jo McDougall

Farmers all,
more cursed than kissed by the sun,
their blue skies neither completely theirs
nor blue,
my ancestors stepped from fields
they’d hoped to pave with stars
onto the rim of darkness. I walk the dirt
that rejected and then took them in,
listening for their voices
glimmering on the wings of crows.
— Jo McDougall


121. This Day

If this day should be my last,

it has been a satisfaction:

coffee climbing the percolator’s stem,

blue smell of plums,

sunlight fueling an orange.

At dusk, a crow calls and calls my name,

night subtracting its wings.

–Jo McDougall

Jo McDougall lives in Leawood, Kansas. She’s Associate Professor Emeritus of English, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas. Author of five books of poetry and two chapbooks, her memoir, Daddy’s Money: a Memoir of Farm and Family, is forthcoming in June 2011 from the University of Arkansas Press.