Beyond Even This
Who would have thought the afterlife would look so much like Ohio? A small town place, thickly settled among deciduous trees. I lived for what seemed a very short time. Several things did not work out. Casually almost, I became another one of the departed, but I had never imagined the tunnel of hot wind that pulls the newly dead into the dry Midwest and plants us like corn. I am not alone, but I am restless. There is such sorrow in these geese flying over, trying to find a place to land in the miles and miles of parking lots that once were soft wetlands. They seem as puzzled as I am about where to be. Often they glide, in what I guess is a consultation with each other, getting their bearings, as I do when I stare out my window and count up what I see. It's not much really: one buckeye tree, three white frame houses, one evergreen, five piles of yellow leaves. This is not enough for any heaven I had dreamed, but I am taking the long view. There must be a backcountry of the beyond, beyond even this and farther out, past the dark smoky city on the shore of Lake Erie, through the landlocked passages to the Great Sweetwater Seas.
From A Space Filled with Moving, University of Pittsburgh Press. Copyright © 1991 by Maggie Anderson. Reprinted in I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio, The University of Akron Press, by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.