The Motel at the Center of North America

I’ve got the big sky in my view.
Prairie time, Utah through Saskatchewan;
hundreds of miles of canola flowers;
a sweeping panorama of yellow
covered by an astral dome
of solid, true blue.

Come winter, nothing blocks
the way of the wind.
It rolls fierce and fast
across millions of acres
of expanse;
the stretching magnitude
of open space
a surprise to someone
from far-away trees.

Here now is summer,
by the side of this highway,
with our car boiling over.
I look to the cracked ground
and see a most delicate cactus flower
pushed up under a thorny bush.
It will only last for one day
of baking on the plains,
and then rumpled, it withers and melts,
as do we,
before finally rolling in
to this most welcome shelter.

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