We practice it, don’t you see? the process  
Of going,  
 By departures sure- 
 We will at last- return  
To spurnaffections’ affectations. 

Open palms upward
With newly emptied pockets.   

Reassure, we will- Awake  
Beneath grandfather’s pines
Planted along the Way,   

And know by increments-
Not leaps new journeys begin 

Which fail to cease.


upper Iowa river unleashed

The storm has passed over
          me and I am looking out-over  
   the desolation of this western plain.

The cat is eating antifreeze,
  The car windshield is cracked from a tornado
And the flood waters are rising.

The flood waters, brown and murky
   Mammoth forces of destruction,
Are filling up the offices downtown. 

The divorce lawyers’ office is
     Caught in rising waters.
David Schmidt banana photographs

Sodden files, are floating off, 
  Along with these dreamer’s eyes,
So clearly following the lightening. 

As it balls horizontal across the sky.
The winds tear up grass and dirt- 

Until the plains are the source of
 This centered self; this contemplation
Of desolation made complete.


the washington monument

The Washington Monument
    Comes into view-
Again piercing the sky. 

It no longer represents
What it used to- 
 Suddenly it has become,

Just a monument, 
  There are the archives,
The capitol building nested 

In scaffolding and crowned. 
We have emerged
  Into these bowels of the city.

By way of the Underground.
     Tracing our way beneath streets.
Union Station is above, with its
Shops, and people criss crossing
Its walks. There is the rolling

Of wheels- the erwk-rattle as
The metal doors pass open-close.
Open- I am smiling, chatting
  To the stranger at my side.

Close- my expression is set, drawn. 
All the time contemplating the
      Myriad paths that ungulate
And cross above my head.

Business class, coach- student
  doctor, lawyer, professional.

An underground world of
   Rusted tracks and pillars,

The lines above the station
    Run parallel, one by two
By three, by five.

Line by line- guiding trains
   Into and out of the station
Freight and passenger lines
  Pass along the rails.

Electric wires above-
    And steel below that
Is how they go and go.

Guided, slipping carefully in,
   Car by car- trains as they pass.

We are traveling- along these lines,
   Along these lines, and the further
They go, the more my thoughts

Disappear into the distance.

Alice B. is a writer that has studied under Pulitzer Prize winning author Claudia Emerson and Pushcart winner Steve Watkins. She has progressed towards an M.F.A. degree under Sheryl St. Germain. Her works have been published by Damfino Press, Susquehanna Magazine and Aubade among others. She and her writing is a work in progress.