Dead Center

August in Indiana:
a heavy moon hung over space
where there was almost nothing
but one big town at dead center.
Grasshoppers popped under tires, 
the trees swelled with grackles,
and I amused myself with windmills -- 
the solitary geometry of glint and spin,
slowing then standing motionless
until the sky raised its dark fist. 
The autumn my mother left
a coldness opened . . .
Beans dried to snakes' tails in the fields,
and my chest filled with rust.
In the snow I walked the pastures 
in an orange poncho 
my father could see from the house.
Once I told him to stop waving at me.
Once I said maybe I’ll just keep walking.  
And once I slid the poncho 
to the near-frozen middle of Moots Pond
just to watch him run from the house 
barefoot and wild.

From Ice, Mouth, Song by Rachel Contreni Flynn, published by Tupelo Press. Copyright © 2005 by Rachel Contreni Flynn. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of Tupelo Press.