Handles and rungs
cut from a fat farmer’s leather belt.
In the eastern counties,
coffins raced uphill, moving on hay bales
and billiard balls.
Charon paid for everyone at the I-44 tollbooth.
On the North Canadian,
comforts of a widower’s loneliness
floated on pontoons.
Time balanced on a fish egg.
In the city, violins violated jackhammers.
At the refuge, night is the church for the disliked.
I go to baptize the plants,
horns, and rain.
I have passed through
many different Oklahoma statehoods.
Copyright © 2020 by Sy Hoahwah. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 24, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.
Photograph from Bruno Chalifour's Visual Diary.
Poem and image, conceived separately, joined by editor Marc A. Cirigliano.