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
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: ZingaraPoet.net 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. His first poetry collection, This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, was a 2013 Kansas Notable Book. His poetry and prose have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Blue Mesa Review, Flint Hills Review, and elsewhere.