Thursday, July 03, 2014

Poetry Friday: The Prairie Town

Main Street, Burlington, Colorado, Reflected in the Bank Window

The Prairie Town
by Helen Santmyer

Lovers of beauty laugh at this grey town,
Where dust lies thick on ragged curb-side trees,
And compass-needle streets lead up and down
And lose themselves in empty prairie seas.

Here is no winding scented lane, no hill
Crowned with a steepled church, no garden wall
Of old grey stone where lilacs bloom, and fill
The air with fragrance when the May rains fall.

But here is the unsoftened majesty
Of the wide earth where all the wide streets end,
And from the dusty corner one may see
The full moon rise, and flaming sun descend.

The long main street, whence farmers’ teams go forth,
Lies like an old sea road, star-pointed north.

Trade out the "teams" for pickup trucks, and this is my hometown. Where I'll be for a couple of weeks starting next week. Looking forward to some "Mom Time!"
This poem was a poem-a-day recently.

Heidi has the Red, White and Blue edition of the Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog, My Juicy Little Universe.


  1. Anonymous6:35 AM

    This makes me want to read something by Willa Cather about life on those "empty prairie seas." Have a wonderful visit with your mom!

  2. Yay for Mom time! I love that photograph SO MUCH!!!

  3. Beautiful photograph and poignant poem. Enjoy your time off, Mary Lee!

  4. I just came home from some Mom time. It was wonderful. She still spoils me.
    How's the healing going?
    Please email me the Poetry Friday roundup links. Thanks.

  5. Gorgeous photograph! Enjoy the mom time, Mary Lee.

  6. Anonymous9:50 AM

    I'll have to look for more by Helen Santmyer. Thanks for sharing, Mary Lee.

  7. Holy cow! This really is Burlington! Hoping I will get to see you while you are "close!"

  8. I just drove all across Kansas and eastern Colorado, thought of you as we passed Burlington. There is a beauty on the prairie. Love this Mary Lee. If you get to Denver... And enjoy your visit home!

  9. We Americans do "unsoftened majesty" rather well, I think. Someday I'll get out to the prairies...

  10. That is a fabulous photograph. Excellent substitution of pickup trucks for teams. Hope you have a great visit!

  11. Home exerts quite a pull, doesn't it? Hope you have a good time with your family, Mary Lee. (And I agree, that photograph is fantastic.)

  12. Like everyone, I am struck by the photo. Also, these lines:
    "But here is the unsoftened majesty
    Of the wide earth where all the wide streets end"
    Enjoy your Mom Time!

  13. Beautiful pairing--the reflective picture and the poem.

    Wishing you and your mom well, as you spend time together taking in the summer and the prairie...making time to breathe...

  14. Love the reflective photo, and the accompanying poem. Enjoy your time!

  15. Have a great trip! I'm up here in ye olde New England. I hope to get out west some day!

  16. Mom time sounds awesome. Love the gorgeous photograph. Safe travels.


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