Riding four wheelers after dark in springtime
May be one of the prairie’s purest pleasures.
Wednesday night we were buzzing down a two-track,
Mish, my son, holding to the rack behind me,
Ariel in the green glow of the dash light,
carving up all the mud and melting snow drifts.
Soon, we stopped at a stark shell of a farm house.
Both the kids asked if we could go and see it,
so, with flashlight in hand, we crossed the threshold.
Thirty years, at the least, it sat there empty;
still, when Mish flipped the switch and nothing happened,
he was wondering why the lights weren’t working.
Ariel thought that we should only whisper
since the people who lived there must be sleeping.
What could she have been sensing that I didn’t?
Back then, under the stars my son loves counting,
through the slough that my daughter says smells funny,
toward the home where my wife was waiting for us:
how I wanted to put time in a bottle!