Jamaican Kids on a Painted Skiff

Truth is, I don’t travel.
We’re still in Kansas
Where, this time, you’re privileged
To catch my call home
And my announcement that I’ve traded
My obsession with this, for my obsession
With that, and I’m broke

Again. The sorghum has kept its promise,
It totters like money out there, safe height
Above rot and sway,
Poised on every variegated pitch.
You can set your watch to its obedience,
And to my failure to pursue the big questions
In my fishing and the poems herein.

But, hey, it’s pasture-burning time
And I don’t mean to bring you down.
Look to the east, or west, or even
Up north by the hushed lights of Hebron—

Fires like villages burning, and the shag
Of cottonwoods and gum trees
Catching the glare in their mines of new leaves
And shimmering it back

All night, for nights, so that
You can hardly keep your eyes to yourself,
And I wouldn’t blame you as you pause
With the motor still running,
And then head out to meet your future
Like a blind man searching for headwaters
Of a great river, dust and smoke.