The Alibis









Halfway Home
© 1996 by Janis Carper

rainbows under sprinklers cooling thirsty crops
shadows of the day’s last light from beyond the mountaintops
purple grass and sagebrush beside the highway signs
I wonder how they figured out where to draw the lines

old dust devil ripping across a fallow field
where with any luck the next year’s barley crop will yield
plenty for the harvest, a little for the bank
a little for the Sunday tithe, a farmer, he knows who to thank


high upon a ridgetop a sculpture made by man
a monument to long ago when wild horses ran
overlooks the river that runs a mile wide
I’ll be halfway home when I reach the other side

way off in the distance a freight train rumbles low
bound to steel rails
no choice but to roll
heading for the trestle
crossing over slow
I should be so lucky as to know which way to go

across these open spaces like tumbleweeds and dust
strange what time erases and how we feel we must
grab a hold of something just to show we can
even if it’s nothing more than someone else’s hand


across these open spaces like tumbleweeds and dust
the spirit in me chases after something I can trust

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