Postcard to Grandpa
by Mary Jo Balistreri

South Dakota sun sits hot on my shoulders
this day in late August, sifts through the wind-
screen of poplars turning them amber
then violet as shadows crawl out from trees.
Wheat fields stretch to the horizon.
Golden stalks swish and bend as wind mimics
the sound of waves. I close my eyes and try
to imagine the sea's loll as you did when first
confronted by 'tall-as-man' grasses
and unblunted heat. You spoke your longing
for Nordland's cold, roar and rumble of sea,
salty smell of cod on your tongue.
But you had no choice. You were here to stay
and the sweet swell of your labor thrives.
I've come home at last, and thought you'd want
to know you did not work in vain. I am here to stay,
to glean whatever awns of insight might rise, to seek
what you found in the deep water of yourself.

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