Small towns can numb a man,
same things, day after day.
Need an escape to open country,
picturesque mountains perhaps,

with a gigantic sky. I’m dreaming
of the west, or, even south
of here, where the rolling hills
bubble up with clear running

springs. Ice-cold earthy taste,
iron, that stains the stones orange.
Then, a scent of soil on the road
from town, tractors tilling fields.

It triggered a sacred recollection
of playing tackle football as a kid
in the side yard. Fresh grass stains,
damp soil and turf coming up

in clumps, a busted lip, warm
metallic taste of blood, sweating
and loving life, playing hard
was all we knew. An oak tree

as goal line, pear tree, rose
bushes, musty autumn leaves.
Even gravel alleys served our
purpose to play the game.

These parsed, paltry words
fell from childhood down
a tunnel, tumbled into today.
I know you think art is folly,

but, without money
imagination is the currency
of the poor. We have bread,
doctors to treat our maladies,

anxieties that rule the day. It’s
the adrenaline rush, the desperate
play we miss. Only words we fumble
down this empty depth of days.

By Barry Yeoman


Barry Yeoman is a poet from Springfield, Ohio, currently living and writing in London, Ohio. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Mission at Tenth, Common Ground Review, Right Hand Pointing, Crack the Spine, Harbinger Asylum, and Broad River Review, among other print and online journals. More of his work can be found at https://www.redfez.net/editArtworks.

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