The sky is mauve with hints
of pinks, Orangina,
tiny ribbons of blue
hovering over cloud
wisps.  Tallgrasses flutter
in the dimming down light.

Tiny twisting canals bright
with waterbirds wind through
the roots and membranes,
stalks and showy seedheads
drift lazily about
like wispy young dancers
at rehearsal’s ending.

This gentle vista lies
open before us, we
want to reach out, sweeping
our arms over down fuzz
as the day departs.

From our clouded train
window, in the last bits
of light, this might well be
the Great Plains. We might be
about to gather seedheads,
weave them into baskets.
But we are hurtling fast
instead toward tunnels,
passing through New Jersey’s
landfill.  We are about
as far from prairie as
imagination allows,
yet still seeing frontier.



Mary K O’Melveny is a recently retired labor rights lawyer. She lives in Washington, DC and Woodstock, NY. Her work has been published by Twisted Vine Literary Arts Journal and by The Write Place at the Write Time (“Roots” Challenge). She is a member of a women’s writing group based in New York’s Hudson Valley. Currently, she is working on two poetry chapbooks, “Memories and Memorials” and “Goats in Brooklyn and Other Natural Wonders.”