Poetry of Kansas

Changing A Tire By The Missouri River

Turning the nuts one at a time
at midnight on a country road
the cold clear black air
pours into my body
and a mile away the invisible
Missouri River slides along.
You stand in the headlights yellow
corridors of light
wrapped in a blanket
impenetrable fields on either side
where farm dogs call and
the distant coyotes answer.
We have one child asleep
in the car another turning
with stars in your body.
On the giant billboard a dreamy
cowboy is lifting a slice
of bacon to his mouth.
I see my hands glow
with the lovely moment
of changing this tire.
The four way wrench slowly revolves.
I am entering my life.

__Harley Elliott
© 1975

Sky Heart
Harley Elliott
(Milwaukee: Pentagon Press. 1975)
Used by permission
October 10, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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