Back in the Midwest

By Candice Mast


Ablaze in my rearview mirror

The sun rises from battle,

Blood-soaked but brilliant.

I drive past frosted round bales,

Golden harvest in rows of neat containment.

Pencil drawing of a tree on sky,

Leaves excised from precisely half of one oak

By a prevailing wind.

Light, dusty corn soldiers mown down;

Miles of empty fields, rolling to the sky.

The bump of railroad tracks

And the haunted train’s ghostly wail echoing;

The tracks going on to somewhere else.

Back porches with torn screen doors

Chimneys, adding clouds to the gray sky.

Rounded barn, hunched solitary in a field, an old widower

Watching the cars go by.

The sycamores in the woods that border the fields

White lightning among  dark trunks.

A curve of river fills with the fire

Of the turning autumn trees.

A buried pioneer graveyard slides into view.

Choked with forgotten dead

Tall, brown weeds grown over graves;

Only the tops of markers reaching through,

The long sweep of blacktop narrowing into the distance,

Leading me on to somewhere else.


Candice Mast lived for seven years in Bangkok, Thailand and now lives in Columbus, Ohio. She likes writing simple poems, trying to capture some of the beauty around her and the thoughts on her mind.