I saw you crossing Delaware,
a green scarf flung around your throat,
and hid in the drugstore doorway,
wishing I could drink another beer
and watch the boys watch you
in the bar mirror. You waited at
the intersection tapping your long boots,
then a raft of men bore you through
the polluted air. I went inside for
my prescription, thinking of
General Washington (who had your
serious chin), and of Monroe’s inaccurate
stars, crumpling in the misty light
beside the baffled horses.
–Mark Neely (Delaware County)
This poem previously appeared in the author’s Dirty Bomb, Oberlin College Press, 2015
Mark Neely is the author of Beasts of the Hill (winner of the FIELD Poetry Prize) and Dirty Bomb, both from Oberlin College Press. His poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Boulevard, and elsewhere. He has received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Individual Artist Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. He is an Associate Professor at Ball State University in Muncie.
Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem from an Indiana poet every day in April (hand-selected by Indiana Poet Laureate George Kalamaras). Check in daily to see who is featured next!