In Lapland, Kansas
In Lapland, Kansas, in 1919
Gilbert Olson and son
built the general store and
a two-story house
near the gravel road.
You could buy Model-T tires,
overalls, kerosene and calico
alongside peanut butter
scooped from a bulk pail.
Rock candy came in a big box;
you bought it loose
and got it in a paper sack.
They came from miles,
bought staples and wares,
talked corn, alfalfa,
last night's hail storm.
One Friday in 1935,
Gilbert went to the bank.
A notice hung on the doorknob.
Now the bypass insinuates itself
around Lapland, Kansas.
A bull snake
slithers through the store slats.
Originally Published in: The Midwest
All poetry on this page
Copyright © by Jeanie Wilson, 2007
The Screen Porch
A wicker chair cradles me, rocks me to rhythms
of cicadas and crickets, bull frogs down at the pond.
Two whippoorwills cry around the house.
Night creeps in like a stain.
My great-great grandmother sat on this porch,
looked out across the fields, rested from the day's heat.
She has passed away along with my grandmother,
grandfather, and my aunt.
I am caught, tangled around by their doings,
their lives--a weaving of threads in the air of this house.
In the darkness, I listen to the sounds of their voices,
watch the parade of faces.
Originally Published in:The Door into
co-authored by Jeanie & Thomas Zvi Wilson, 2006
Tonight, not long before
the first hard frost,
we swing to raspy, dog day cicadas
seesawing a slow cadence.
Aunt Roma bequeaths me her secrets,
shows me how to spread
my apron in the light of October moon.
Her porch swing sways
the night song of gray squirrels.
She looks at something far away,
beyond the hills.
Originally Published in: Uncurling,
a book of poetry by Jeanie Wilson, 2006