“Laurens”

We climbed the tar papered huts
that were joined together like railway cars,
and scampered across the curved roofs
from one side to the other of the stockyards
on moonlit summer nights in our small town.

Laying, looking at the lazy stars,
plotting destinies far beyond the edge
of all we knew.

On Cooper’s vacant lot we’d throw the football
across the dry, heaping piles of leaves
and dodge the trees like phantom players,
dreaming of the glory we’d find
in the football fields of the future.

After Boy Scout meetings in the church basement,
we’d bundle up against winter’s breath
and slide on the slippery icy streets
behind the car bumpers of unaware drivers
and ponder the ride away from that small town.

Floyd Winters would talk in history
of places and faces
unknown to our simple world
and Adeline would always ask
about our acting,
“Do you feel what he feels?”
and the answer was always “no.”

Night upon night
we’d dine on Mama Milly’s big burgers,
put each other down
and talk of places that we’d go.

Now we’ve gone.
Seen the places and faces;
outgrown our small hometown Iowa ways

and yet –

We yearn again for spring.
To be in that small town
and walk down the long hill from school
to have a coke at George’s Drug Store
or fries with Mama Milly,
ice cream at Mosbach’s Dairy,
or to scoop the two block loop.

To be young again, in that small town,
To dream again of Floyd’s faces and places
and try again the find the rainbow’s end.