Donald Justice

12 August 1925 - 6 August 2004 / Miami / Florida

American Sketches

CROSSING KANSAS BY TRAIN

The telephone poles
Have been holding their
Arms out
A long time now
To birds
That will not
Settle there
But pass with
Strange cawings
Westward to
Where dark trees
Gather about a
Water hole this
Is Kansas the
Mountains start here
Just behind
The closed eyes
Of a farmer’s
Sons asleep
In their work clothes

POEM TO BE READ AT 3 A.M.
Excepting the diner
On the outskirts
The town of Ladora
At 3 A.M.
Was dark but
For my headlights
And up in
One second-story room
A single light
Where someone
Was sick or
Perhaps reading
As I drove past
At seventy
Not thinking
This poem
Is for whoever
Had the light on
109 Total read