Midwestern Elegy

Bonnie Maurer


What this highway has left standing are cemetery stones,

white and pocked as bones rising for markers;

the wooden bird, arms flapping in this wind: clack/click, clack/click.


The road is a gentle curve beyond—what you’ve seen a thousand times—

thin white arm of sycamore, then one field startles you with green.

The farmer’s new silos will be there forever,


now the measure of flatness, and what you’ve heard today—

the skeletal remains of a girl, twenty,

found. Blackbirds swarm to the wires.


Cornstalks bend at the knees.

The last barn you pass gapes at you

holy and with its teeth out.


Bonnie Maurer has an MFA from Indiana University and is the author of Ms Lily Jane Babbitt Before the Ten O’clock Bus from Memphis Ran Over Her, (Raintree Press), Old 37: The Mason Cows (Barnwood Press) and  Bloodletting: A Ritual Poem for Women’s Voices (Ink Press). Awarded a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship by the Arts Council of Indianapolis in 2000, Maurer wrote The Reconfigured Goddess, Poems of a Breast Cancer Survivor.  She works as a poet for Young Audiences of Indiana, as a copy editor for the Indianapolis Business Journal  and as an Ai Chi (aquatic flowing energy) instructor.