Steve Gerson

Played Out

When the farm played out,
trees growing in the silos
untended where mice chewed
corn dust, where the rocker
on the house’s paint-pealed porch
screamed ghostly on wormed wood,
wind whistling through broken slats,
he left, replacing his lame nag,
swaybacked and crop weary,
with a job in the city driving a truck. 
He still wore his Stetson Llano
cowboy hat, the straw stained
the color of time, dried and storm blown,
his dungarees patched with baled hay,
his work boots gnarled like hands torn
on barbed wire.  He still drove the truck
like a horse at walk gait, broken from a day
of pulling plow, throat latch choked,
hame heavy, backstrap girded as tight
as a candle snuffed without a wish made,
and he peered into his rearview mirror
fearing the next blue norther looming.

Steve Gerson, an emeritus English professor from a Midwestern community college, writes poetry and flash about life’s dissonance and dynamism. He’s proud to have published in Panoplyzine (winning an Editor’s Choice award), The Hungry Chimera, Toe Good, The Write Launch, Route 7, Duck Lake, Coffin Bell, Poets Reading the News, Crack the Spine, Riza Press, White Wall Review, Variant, Abstract, Montana Mouthful, the Decadent Review, Indolent, Rainbow Poems, Snapdragon, The Underwood Press, Wingless Dreamer, Gemini Ink, and In Parentheses.