Twyla Hansen

New Year’s on Nine-Mile Prairie

From Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet. Backwaters Press, 2011.

Clouds in long rolls above the prairie hold promises
they can’t keep. We walk in perennial tracks over
complicated tangles, eons of roots, an affinity of grasses
lying together, the ritual breathing of earth.

On the hilltop an elemental snap shot
nibbles at the gamut; winter the gaunt equalizer.
Solitude whistles through empty nest boxes,
around each chain link of the heart.

We are guests at a muslin tablecloth, served up sepia
seed heads under the forgiving distance of blue sky.
Alone together in the grace of resolution and celebration—
our gifts to each other—toward imperfect beginnings.