prompt 9: Prairie love

I loved this song!  I wrote the poem while I listened to it.  I have never done this before. Usually I listen to the song and write after. I found that little pieces of the song would jump out and find their way into the poem.  So, any lines from the song I will go back later and identify them some how.  Thank you, Caitlin for this beautiful song.


prairie love


dust coats my feet,

bare toes to the Earth

as it should be –

I pray with my bare soul to these prickles

and tiger lilies

wild in the sunlight.


clouds of my foot prints

lead me to:

those fallen barns

holding more than dried lumps of what horses leave in their wake

of meals once eaten;

to fallen barns holding

first groping loves in slanting hay lofts

what green-eyed boys leave in their wake

in the hint of sweet grass scents swimming in our hair

our heads

our hands retracing places those green-eyed boys traced, too.


or tufts of cottonwood seeds gathered around

those bare toes

reminding me of

snow-filled days when fires in barrels

filled abandoned train cars with light and warmth

of adolescent laughter,

tinkling of icy beer bottles in paper cases

hoping love would warm

or teach

this dear,

young heart

to love with body

and spirit.


these past years

my feet,

dust coated and praying,

have walked those sacred roads again

with ghosts of those now spirit

holding my hand as I go

to let me know

the land has me now:

holding my dusty feet and frozen hands,

binding my broken heart with bailing twine –

broken by stubborn boys who taught me how to be bare

before the fires ignited in the back 40

in the shadows of cottonwoods

who kept our secrets in the fields.

(c) r.l.elke


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