All night Kansas
the lungs of the continent
takes a sip of the galaxy

swirling stars and barbed wire
sofabeds and willows
books and doors banging open 

signs disappear whole towns
ditch themselves in the countryside
I stir the coffee to center the house

the place our mothers and fathers
and theirs and theirs passed through
their aprons strung on telephone wires

this tunnel of wind this trial        
makes trees throw back their heads                                               
and hair on our arms stand up        

we’re nothing but breath on its way through the woods

From The Afterlives of Trees (Woodley Press, 2011). Copyright © 2011 by Wyatt Townley. Used with permission of the author.