-after Seamus Heaney
Take time away to find your way
west, out to Colorado, the I-25 corridor,
and drive along the front range in early fall,
along the boundary there between range
and cloister, when the wind falls from the mountains,
and the purpled rock face contrasts the grasses
swept up in dull ochre and dormancy,
the clouds bolster their plumage into roundness,
horses and old gray houses, leaning fences
persist as the long wide shadows stretch out,
the road lies long into the disappearing north.
I want to picture you there with faith
that you have seen it, that you drove between
the rise and the flat, the barren and toothed,
you rode the border of leaving without
promise of return, and decided
to come back with your heart torn in two.
Gregory Stapp is a librarian living in central Oklahoma. His poems have appeared or are pending publication at The Ekphrastic Review, The Cortland Review, The Southern Review, and The Museum of Americana, among others, as well as in the anthologies Gutters & Alleyways (Lucid Moose Lit, 2014) and Level Land (Lamar University Press, 2022).