the last paper boat

a final (for now) run
mud gathering on my shoes
dark sky lightening in the west
no sweat, but rain glistening my skin
sad roll of clyde
deflated tires on gravel
ashby the tiny cat following us all the way down
to the cow barn where mica
hefts the sparkle-sticker frame
up to me through the hayloft window
sliver-slice of pumpkin pie feasting
on the front porch and when i ask emory
why not join the train station adventure
he says i don’t want to go
because saying goodbye will make me sad
emory and i in the pine tree
this is the basement he says
counting how many levels it is up to me
it doesn’t really feel like saying goodbye
i say as we reach the point
where the gravel hits pavement
at the greek place
i imagine trish there
in her truman days
while mica, tyler and i
take turns sipping on
the pepsi version of doctor pepper
while we work on the last paper boat
of curly fries
and mica reveals
she brought a sharpie
just in case
(knuckle tattoos)
on the jaunt to the station
tyler, mica and i laughing almost teary-eyed
first about a julie (the amtrak operator) remix
then about a julie remix and thong song mashup
(thong-tha-thong-thong-thong…. got it
dumps dumps dumps like a truck …. i’m sorry
j-j-j-j-j- julie)
your phone’s vibrating
mica says hugging me and my gigantic backpack
that’s not my phone i say
a sea of amish folks moving in
towards the open car door
that’s my vibrator
that’s a good rhythm tyler approves
and it is with this hilariousness
laugh still leaving me
with a wave thrown over my shoulder
that i board a southwest-bound train
white-haired kind-faced woman behind me
lining up to board says
that backpack
is almost as big as you are
i know! i say
it weighs just about as much too
i promise i won’t fall over on you
and then, minutes later, we are seated next to each other
55 and 56
i think people that provide care i tell her
need to get care too
(regarding her sister whose husband
has been bed-ridden since may)
where’s home for you margaret asks
i smile and say i don’t know
but i’ve been on the farm for
just over a year and that felt like a home
the mighty mo margaret says
about the missouri river
that we think we just passed over
sometime in the middle of the night
i wake up just in time to catch
sleep-eyed glimpses of
the longest grain elevator
in the world
white cement behemoth
hutchinson, kansas


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