Sevenling (He longed for)
He longed for three things about farm
life: the morning rooster, good compost
in the garden, corncobs glowing in the fireplace.
He had no use for strangers
selling Bibles, children who refused
to weed the garden, well-meaning neighbors.
The countryside belongs to the swallows.
Published in the Kerf
Sevenling (He lived for)
He lived for three things:
work gloves, sun in the morning,
the deep blue Midwest sky.
He didn’t care for outsiders,
stiff prairie winds, a woman’s
cold coffee. He practiced
how to talk while plowing flat fields.
Published in The Oregonian
Sevenling (He shrugged off)
He shrugged off three things about
boot camp: the small lies, the big lies,
subtle psychological manipulation.
He hated stories others told
about girls back home, marching,
orders for breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Thoughts belong to no one.
Published in Self-Portrait / Sixteen Sevenlings, Bright Hill Press, 2013