Always Iowa by Janet Banks

Always Iowaby Janet Banks Not one recognizable face on the plane,in the airport John Deere memorabiliabeckon from the gift shop,the state, empty of love. Mother, spiffed up, her coiffure a pale shadeof apricot, Dad chewing on a bit of paperto calm his nerves as he paces,both long gone to graves. No welcoming. Kathy, once theContinue reading “Always Iowa by Janet Banks”

Speaking of Iowa: The sun at noon by James Hearst

Speaking of Iowa: The sun at noon by James Hearst No country leads so softly to nowhere as those slow shoulders that curtain the horizon let us hold the sun at noon in this valley for morning will not come again. We will watch the trees grow up and the flowers stiffen and brightly dressedContinue reading “Speaking of Iowa: The sun at noon by James Hearst”

Dubuque, Iowa by Eve Triem

Dubuque, Iowaby Eve Triem Travelers notice this town for its bricks,(warehouse and mill) sun-and-snow weatheredto apricot and dahlia. And then that it is a port,the streets in waves winding from a riverand flying the side of a hill, like gulls. They will climb the stair-sprayed hill—the hill, a ball-player’s arm swung up for a catch Continue reading “Dubuque, Iowa by Eve Triem”

Butter by Andrea Cohen

Butterby Andrea Cohen I’ve never seen the landof milk and honey, but at the Iowa State Fair I glimpseda cow fashioned of butter. It lived behind a windowin an icy room, beneath klieg lights. I filed past as one filespast a casket at a wake. It was that sad: a butter cowwithout a butter calf.Continue reading “Butter by Andrea Cohen”

Iowa by Robbie Klein

Iowa by Robbie Klein It never completely gets dark on those back roads. There are stars, deceptively few. And velvet consumes and velvet erupts: the softness is the leaves and the dirt paths and stables and skin. And eyes. The dark places, the secret places: abrupt, always, fleeting but indelibly there, like a muscle memory.Continue reading “Iowa by Robbie Klein”

Kid, this is Iowa by Jeffrey Bean

Kid, this is Iowaby Jeffrey Bean everything we are is here—my dead grandmother as a girlhunting fireflies in tiger lilies,me throwing walnuts at gas cansby the barn, stomping mud puddles,my sticky hands lifting an appleto my mouth. Here are dogwoods and hills of corn that lead to more hillsof corn and more corn until theContinue reading “Kid, this is Iowa by Jeffrey Bean”

Iowa City: Early April by Robert Hass

Iowa City: Early Aprilby Robert Hass This morning a cat—bright orange—pawing at the one patch of new grass in the sand-and tanbark-colored leaves. And last night the sapphire of the raccoon’s eyes in the beam of the flashlight.He was climbing a tree beside the house, trying to get onto the porch, I think, for aContinue reading “Iowa City: Early April by Robert Hass”

Hokusai in Iowa by Dan Campion

          I no longer remember I am here      there being no mountain and I at its foot           reading the sea-level poems about me     to Grant Wood whose denim bib rustles like a skiff’s sail           perhaps waves in dirt and tassels      really are like waves of the sea so long as we do not think about           whoseContinue reading “Hokusai in Iowa by Dan Campion”