Poetry: Dear Deborah by Deborah Ager

They tell me that your heart
has been found in Iowa,
pumping along Interstate 35.
Do you want it back?

When the cold comes on
this fast, it’s Iowa again—
where pollen disperses
evenly on the dented Fords,

where white houses sag
by the town’s corn silos,
where people in the houses
sicken on corn dust.

Auctions sell entire farms.
It’s not the auctions that’s upsetting
but what they sell, the ragged towel
or the armless doll, for a dollar.

I hear they’ve found
an eye of yours in Osceola
calling out to your mouth in Davis City.
That mouth of yours is in the bar,

the only place left in town,
slow dancing and smoking.
It’s no wonder you look so pale.
Ever wish you’d done more

with your thirty years?
Seeing you last week I wonder
if you crave that sky
filled with the milky way

or the sight of Amish girls in blue
at sunset against wheat-colored prairie grass.
Here, the trees are full of gossip.
They’re waiting to see what you’ll do next.

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Andrew Blackman
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Beautiful, Alice. Reminded me of road trips around America. There’s lots of sadness in the seams. Auctioning an armless doll for a dollar. Wish I’d noted down more of the details as I was going, but I was young and concentrating on enjoying myself!