APRIL 2018

Wheat Field with a Lark , Vincent van Gogh

Wheat Field with a Lark, Vincent van Gogh

Midwestern Drive


Wildflowers bloom in the unmowed ditch.
Roadside billboards claim to know what God’s plan isn’t.
The wild parsnip that blistered my nephew’s soft fingers
has prematurely shed its inviting butter-yellow for fall’s dive barbrown.
Mid-July the corn has unnaturally doubled in height from a decade ago.
And I wonder if there might be some truth
to the idea that the people running the world
might not actually live in it.
In the world but not of it,
the radio preacher says
as the highway reaches through Iowa
for someplace else.

I watch the progress of purple aster
against the green walls of cloned corn lining the ditch.
The mauve sumac,
smeared as if to stain the doorposts of the homes
of farmers who know
that crops don’t put food on the table.
The hills begin to ruffle my radio signal.
The panting black cattle blink their slow eyes,
looking for some shaded place to trample to mud.
In the world but not of it,
he said, like it was
a good thing.

Heidi McKinley

Heidi McKinley is a fledgling stained-glass artist, an amateur gardener, and a creative nonfiction MFA candidate at the University of New Orleans. Her work has appeared in The McNeese Review, The Missing Slate, Caesura, and elsewhere. Visit http://heidimckinley.tumblr.com/