Lay of the Land

I know that you felt stunted
in the landscape of your youth,
a butterfly pinned to mounting
board of lowland and champaign.
Pressed beneath slabs of faded sky
your prairie splayed, flatter yet
once the cyclone hit—corn stubble,
barn rubble, tracts scrubbed
of purpose and left for scrap.
You yearned for buttes and dunes
and crags, for towering trees.

But here in Appalachia, with our
evergreens and oaks, our elbow jut
of mountain and hip swell of hill,
expectations get constricted, steps
obscured. I envy the unobstructed
horizon, where you can see
what’s coming.