on the morning of my visit I tell him
about the train that ran off the tracks
how it gashed and badgered his pasture
I don’t want to be here I’m not CNN
I have no other news

which doesn’t matter

he’s out of his mind from medication
his nose and arms full of tubes
a monitor hitched to his heart
and when the nurse comes in
he thinks she’s a raccoon and tells her
to get the hell out of his corn

now he wants to yank everything out
I hold his hands and though I’m not CNN
I tell him when you get out of here
there will be hot beef sandwiches
and cake some really good cake I tell him

you can say hello again to the chicken coop
the hedges and the windmill
pails buckets and all that machinery in the shed
your dogs will bark pomp
and your dogs will bark circumstance
there will be fishing from the bridge
commodity prices on the rise
you’ll find another good woman to love

he stops bucking and plucking at the tubes

what I really want to know
he says is what did the train do next
did it run out of steam did it turn to miss
my cows the nosy heifer bastards
or did it

laugh and fly like a dragon in the rain


Jeanne Lutz is a 2015-2016 winner of the Loft Mentor Series for poetry. She grew up on a dairy farm in southern Minnesota, attended the University of Ireland, Galway, earned her B.A. in English from St. Catherine University, spent two years in Tokyo, and now divides her time between the family farm and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She is the author of the chapbook, Hearts and Harrows, co-written with Richard Donnelly and her work has appeared in Conduit, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Poetry City, USA, Whistling Shade, and on KAXE radio.

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