Going Back

Can a chair hand made from poplar make me whole?

We scour for the one-of-a-kind, crafted with the visionary’s eye.
Spirits reach out in Lick Creek, Nauvoo, New Harmony.

At dusk, we join deer drawn by trust into open fields—
no moment more vulnerable than when one stares, waiting.

I scent out a psychic, who will know me as placeless, know me by smell.
None materializes as we dodge bats outside our cabin,
many versions at home in us.

We drive deeper into summer. Signs along dirt lanes:
Half Day Hollow, Quarry Heart, Clover Dell.
Time has gutted roads, our memory—that farmhouse on Inverness Road?
I join your search for a long-ago lover’s home.
Each looks at me like the Tarantula Arms where Blanche lured her prey.

Between fields of corn and beans, it is easy to forget—
mind blank as the anonymous face of an Amish doll.
In this country, now and then are the same,
women so calm I want to lie down, sleep like a baby
before them, sit and work something with my hands,
eyes grazing prairie, until it and myself are perfect.

This is a reprint of work originally published in Spoon River Poetry Review.

Marc Frazier has widely published poetry in journals including Spoon River Poetry Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Good Men Project, F(r)iction, The Gay & Lesbian Review, Tampa Review, Permafrost, Plainsongs, and Poet Lore. He has had memoirs published in Gravel, The Good Men Project, decomP magazinE, Autre, and Cobalt Magazine, among others. Willingly, his third poetry book, was published in 2019. His website is http://www.marcfrazier.org.

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