Cows doze along one side of the barb-wire,
tombstones on the other,

a few ragged leaves and a cigarette wrapper
scurry across the highway,

a skittish breeze is playing
a child’s game in the corn-rows
while rattling all the skeletal trees
out behind the house like a forest of spears.

It’s true, out here on the prairie,
night comes down before
you even know it.

Image Credit Vincent Chin

Jason Ryberg is the author of eighteen books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry letters to various magazine and newspaper editors.

He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection of poems is The Great American Pyramid Scheme (co-authored with W.E. Leathem, Tim Tarkelly and Mack Thorn, OAC Books, 2022). He lives part-time in Kansas City, MO with a rooster named Little Red and a billygoat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters.