I want to go to the bayou again

With Grandad in summers at home

For seed time down in the bottom land

When we blackened the stubble with silver-laid loam.


I want to spring out in tall grass at dawn

And smell the ripe clover in dew

And hear that bold redwing burst into song

And feel the wake of the earth up my shoe.


I want to trail home thirsty at night

Burnt dark by the simmering sun

And relax with a draught from the cold water well

Laughing at stories that Grandad would tell

And smiling inside that the planting is done.


Jerome L. McElroy


*Accepted in Tucumcari (1997)