Poetry of Kansas Here & Now, There & Then

Posts tagged ‘Roland Sodowsky’

84. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Roland Sodowsky

On a John Deere D tractor, early July,
plowing a wheat field north of Cimarron:
now and then a cloud, and I was grateful,

even more grateful to see a car, pickup—
anything moving—appear on the horizon,

a dark speck north or south that grew larger,
passed along the east side of the field, dwindled,
disappeared—not over a hill—just disappeared.

My certainty that we, passerby and I,
shared something still embarrasses me.

– Roland Sodowsky

148. Thump

In an old house the noise could be the cat

swatting a Christmas tree ball,

 

a pile of wobbly presents or stacked books

surrendering to gravity,

 

the washing machine venting its hatred

of rugs, the refrigerator’s harsh cough,

 

plumbing tying a new knot in itself,

one of the useless chimneys toppling,

 

a full-length mirror diving off the closet door,

three-legged stool ineptly reglued,

 

woman or man or dog tumbling down stairs,

some winged thing in attic, basement, bedroom,

 

a ninety-six-year-old house that sighs and says,

A hundred isn’t feasible. I can’t.

– Roland Sodowsky

Roland Sodowsky worked in Kansas wheat fields as a teenager. His books include Things We Lose, an AWP award winner, Interim in the Desert, Un-Due West, and poetry and fiction in Atlantic Monthly and Midwest Quarterly, among others. A 2009 Kansas Voices winner, he lives with his wife, Laura Lee Washburn, in Pittsburg, KS.

60. Fog

The faded, sometimes missing line

at the highway’s edge conspires this morning

with fog, a moving dome of uncertainty,

and the muscle in my chest that clenches

and relaxes tamely now but picks

secret reasons and moments to race,

bored by its mundane life, its narrow

choices: beat day and night. Or stop.

Nurses plug their patients into machines—

we are piecework—collect their printouts,

and the shiny doctor descends, thumps,

taps, listens, says, “Take your pulse often.”

As in the song, I think, “Keep a close watch,”

but don’t say it, and shut the doors gently

so not to alarm the hovering fog.
Roland Sodowsky worked in Kansas wheat fields as a teenager. His books include Things We Lose, an AWP award winner, Interim in the Desert, Un-Due West, and poetry and fiction in Atlantic Monthly and Midwest Quarterly, among others. A 2009 Kansas Voices winner, he lives with his wife, Laura Lee Washburn, in Pittsburg, KS.

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