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Substitute Kansas by Antonia Clark | Word Riot
Poetry

June 14, 2010      

Substitute Kansas by Antonia Clark

I don’t rule out much, but I could substitute Kansas
for just about anyplace and decide not to go there.

Some places that I actually know about, for instance
the backsides of outbuildings, e.g., toolsheds,

could pop up anywhere — a good thing, since we all
need one now and then to do something out behind.

Where I grew up — in a state mistaken as zipped up,
straitlaced — there were endlessly available erections

of scrap lumber and tin in all the backyards,
thrown together by the dads for seemly purposes,

quickly appropriated by those in urgent need
of cover, and we were all faster learners then.

It’s more complicated now. We have to weigh risks,
which slows us down considerably. No more in and out

of the magic sack like rabbits. and Kansas is probably
a lot closer than it appears in the rearview mirror.

About the author:

Antonia Clark works for a medical software company in Burlington, Vermont. A former creative writing instructor, she is currently co-administrator of an online poetry forum, The Waters. Her poems have appeared in The Chimaera, The 2River View, The Orange Room Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, and elsewhere. She loves French food and wine, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.

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