Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

The Old Brucker Place

Academic journal article The Midwest Quarterly

The Old Brucker Place

Article excerpt

   softly    like an archaeologist    dusting artifacts     I probe this Kansas homestead     in the kitchen    a wasp floats    up to the mud nest    behind the stove pipe     a hunk of blue linoleum snaps    off when the floor sags    under me     bees pop in    the cistern hole    beside an enamel sink     mouse droppings litter the kitchen floor     a black high button shoe    props    the back door    open     glancing out, I see the barn     broken    at the front corner seam    boards split apart    like a pair of hands    unclasped     and in the sky    over the windmill    a zig zag of black    crows drifts     across an orange    sun     down 

Sheryl L. Nelms has published six collections of poems, Their Combs Turn Red in the Spring, The Oketo Yahoos, Strawberries and Rhubarb, Rural America, Land of the Blue Paloverde, Friday Night Desperate, and a chapbook. Her most recent book, Tap Dancing on My Brain, is forthcoming from Haley's Press. She has published more than 4,000 poems, articles, and short stories in such journals as Reader's Digest, Modern Maturity, Poetry Now, Amelia, Cape Rock, Chiron Review, the eleventh MUSE, Hiram Poetry Review, Kansas Quarterly, Laurel Review, Midwest Quarterly, Webster Review, and others. Nelms won the 1996 Pegasus Award from the Oklahoma Writers' Association and has won over one hundred prizes in poetry contests. …

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