Going Back
by Jessica Housand-Weaver

There is something about riding
home across yawning pastures and forests
of culled stalks, a railcar murmur
sailing through the country’s heart,
old ghosts caprioling leeward
like meadow-mad porpoises
spitting histories into the dusk;
when once cholera and typhoid rooted
among mantled wagons, sticky children
flushed with fever, playing for days
with corn-husk dolls that crumble
between their fingers, the oxen
lowing, thirsty, at natives still
as coral trees along the trail, until
drifting away, the earth-daubed
warriors sink amid blue hyacinth, rallied
by bison, buoying fat and free
on waves of southern steppes.

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