A Corrosion of Stillness

One dinted barrel—rust banding out
from its rivets like the years
on a fir—stays alone above the wheatgrass
of a prairie starved to brown and barren
daylight as a ditched monument
to timelessness and serenity
detested.
The drum throws echoes
of the wind crying
its slow, sobering drone of dust and vacuous
            progress,
while it waits for the rain, always,
waits for the symphony of drip on drop
and the cohesion
of puddles filling space,
waits to zing a beat
to the chaos of company, the perennial decay
of the seasons warping steel
to damp the loneliness of nightfall,
and dreams gone amiss
under the empty glare of staying.

Kelsey McClintock is a Seattle-based poet, novelist, and exhausted stay-at-home mom.

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