American SermonI am uniquely privileged to be alive
or so they say. I have asked others
who are unsure, especially the man with three
kids who’s being foreclosed next month.
One daughter says she isn’t leaving the farm,
they can pry her out with tractor
and chain. Mother needs heart surgery
but there is no insurance. A lifetime of cooking
with pork fat. My friend Sam has made
five hundred bucks in 40 years
of writing poetry. He has applied for 120
grants but so have 50,000 others. Sam keeps
strict track. The fact is he’s not very good.
Back to the girl on the farm. She’s been
keeping records of all the wildflowers
on the never-tilled land down the road,
a 40-acre clearing where they’ve bloomed
since the glaciers. She picks wild strawberries
with a young female bear who eats them. She’s being
taken from the eastern Upper Peninsula down
to Lansing where Dad has a job in a
bottling plant. She won’t survive the move.