Winter Sunrise in Illinois’ Hill Country
by Michael Escoubas

A few miles out from the prairie
where the hills
speak not of corn silks and soybeans,

the sky flames red above dormant pastures
and the trees
root themselves on hillsides. The Sun peeks

above a hillock, the closest thing
in Illinois
to a mountain. The tumultuous sky

burns hot as the human heart when
nature extends
her hand … the dawn, great and strong,

now devoid of autumn’s copper leaves
and sensuous
spices. The earth itself feels almost

human, reflecting changes felt when
seasons send their
timeless message of beauty within change.


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