By C.D. Albin

I’ve jilted Laura Ingalls Wilder again,
her Mansfield home in my rearview
before I remember, doing seventy,
to stop at Rocky Ridge, see where

she penned her prairie tales.  A few
miles more and I roll into
Webster County, do a double-take
though I’ve seen the sight before:

plain horse and buggy clipping hard
along the shoulder, straight-backed
man and woman clothed in black,
their stares locked on the far hilltop

as if the world were a tunnel, no need
to glance right or left.  I’m past in seconds,
trailing a buffeting wind in my wake,
but not even the horse flinches.

Like Laura and Almanzo, the couple
receding in my rearview seem members
of an old order, tautly tuning their lives
to the rawest arc of the turning world.

Also by C.D. Albin:

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