Just Beyond My Town
Pushcart Prize nominee Kevin Heaton lives and writes in South Carolina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in many publications, including Raleigh Review, Foundling Review, The Honey Land Review, and Mason's Road. His fourth chapbook, Chronicles, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in early 2012. He is a Best of the Net 2011 nominee.
Folks still know how to love
with all their clothes on:
A red-tailed hawk holds a jack
rabbit's foot on the moonlit brink
of his fraidy hole. I recall the muffled
shriek of a field mouse pleading from
halfway down a rat snake;
the prairie never shouts.
Fossil-pocked, limestone ledges
scrimshaw the top soil and dare
a rasp to hone it's plow. Burnished
switchgrass transfigures green
when last years dregs catch fire—
it takes a hedge of Osage orange
to spare the primrose.
Summers are torrid, lusty trysts,
brief amber flings.
Out of the blue, nips fray the breeze,
and squirrel-hole cottonwood tailings
deep in bovine potholes. Coyote fur
gathers for the snows that salt
away old conestoga wounds,
and I am vigilant: the lavender
spiderwort lifts her skirt but once,
and honeysuckle only flaunt
to serve their roots.