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Image by Ashlee Attebery


the madrigal, volume v

The Dirt Road

by naomi dean

after Ha Phan's poem 'I Am'


I’ve sat here before
watching the back and
forth of life on the road.
The milkweed coming
out of its pod, the asparagus
ripening in the ditch for
the mailman’s dinner.

The big back and forth,
the Poleski brothers’ car,
kicking up gravel on its way
to the casino, the combines
on the way to their harvests.
The smaller, the worms after
the rain, stretched out as long
as the sun on Midsummer.

The road quiet, except for
the roar of the boys with
their beer after midnight.
The road quiet, not on anyone’s
map, no name or number.
The road that we knew so well,
that we could lay ourselves in
the middle of at the right
time of day, without fear.

Naomi Dean grew up on a farm in Minnesota, USA. She has taught English and Spanish in Brooklyn, New York, and Palo Alto, California, and currently teaches ESL at a public school in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband, son, and daughter. Naomi's work has recently appeared in Poetica and Sylvia.

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