Oklahoma. Here, where I learn to pronounce
crayon as crown, to place broadleaf weeds
on our grass stained knees with
honeysuckles under our tongues, where I
Keep in touch with my neighbors by
sending Saturday morning postcards
of Route 66 from the gas station
a good day’s bike ride away, where I
Leave the afternoon for last minute changes,
change the coffee pot, black for the
mailman, even though he has lost
the newspaper again, spare some change for
Another church bucket full of prematurely
abandoned fountain coins and free
gospel tracts, where every travelling gun show
is held among the remnants of a book sale.
Here, where the sky turns my window sepia
before a storm—the flower shop ladies say
only God could have done that, and
I’ve forgotten the feeling before ruin.
On every street corner is a white-haired pedestrian
reminding all who will listen that our state
has seen more astronauts than any other;
our soles, more red dirt and settlement.
My parents want to visit every state park before they die.
They’ve lived here 34 years, yet every weekend,
they find new forests and mountains
to be buried in. I think I will spread their
Ashes across each X on their map. Oklahoma
does not have to prove itself to me.
Here, where passersby will be nostalgic
for a country they’ve never lived in.
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