"There is no coming back from the space / you make"

— Ed Dorn

I have walked off the road
into the green wheat
ripe-high — only the railroad
full of a mile of boxcars
stands, is dark, does not move, dark
as high noon I came down this road
the first time, and turned off toward it,
it was

Pawnee Station
is almost deserted now —
Mrs. Masten told me she used to drive Dr. Masten
this far, by car, in 1910,
and he went on into the country on calls
by team, wagon
for the impossible roads of spring.
This road walked off of
was the first paved south
to the coal mines, Pittsburgh, Kansas,
what were once the socialist counties of Kansas —
goes nowhere now but its paved circle back
where it came from, off the new highway
Concrete, where the roads are all still
and the mines are all
played out.

Summer, ripeness, and the harvest
almost time — And the plateaus
and increments of history, memory, cohere
in here, stepped out into to see,
this field, slashed
by a still railroad
and roads —
                                       Enter it
                       by whatever side door, door
                       at all,
                                       and go freely
                                       to that far end
                                       where the trees
                                       stand thick
                                       and moving in the wind.
— 21–28 Aug 63
Albuq[uerque, NM]