Run and hide, or stay and fight, there is a Great War on,
and we’ve all enlisted;  from 37,000 feet Illinois
is laid out like a stamp collection, below, a million farmers
plant soybeans, a billion hogs suffer in the heat,
sixteen billion chickens lay eggs – truck drivers haul loads &
commerce moves like gears in the great machine – the price of pork bellies soar
oats are forever a safe bet – I think about derivatives, futures and swaps
an old farmer chugs down a limestone road on a John Deere tractor as
I watch Good Morning America from a motel near St. Louis
as a retired iron worker wakes to strong black coffee and to
smoke leisurely on the porch of a clapboard house near the river
reading the news, fighting emphysema, thinking about the sixties
the big war, the last war, first love, last love, a lost lung.
He told his son (once) about the St. Louis Arch – the highest man-made
arch in the World – highest damned building in the state of Missouri
but the son didn’t care much for high-steel – he was fighting with an ex-wife
& with the IRS; working for a real SOB at the brickyard and driving a
10 year old car –
Son wrote the old-man off as a loser years before
– half-baked and battle scared