Iowa Writes

JOHN MCBRIDE
Is Grant Wood's Iowa True?


Past obliging cattle his brush maneuvers,
undulates easily over the crop-rich slopes
of industrious family farms,
and there is much reassurance in
each neat replication
of well-maintained farmhouse, silo, barn.

Take yourself inside the picture, and you can stop
with any question, and know
they will give you their best shot,
and they will chat, as long as you want,
if you appear at all interested,
on wind and rain and sun
and corn and bean rows.

Past obliging cattle his brush maneuvers,
undulates easily over the crop-rich slopes
of industrious family farms,
and there is much reassurance in
each neat replication
of well-maintained farmhouse, silo, barn.

Take yourself inside the picture, and you can stop
with any question, and know
they will give you their best shot,
and they will chat, as long as you want,
if you appear at all interested,
on wind and rain and sun
and corn and bean rows.

And if you do step in, out of the blue,
into a rambling, century-old farmhouse
for a cup of coffee in the bright kitchen,
you might notice the blinking computer
nodding good-naturedly to you,
specifying yields and the seeding plané
but that was beyond his time,

so now you look out
the lace-framed window
to the small shoots,
so young, so unseasoned,
their rustling sighs at the combine
are still food for the imagination,

and then, sauntering on,
leave there, for another,
and reach one of those acrylic towns
where it always is
high noon,
where weather-beaten homes
disclose white fences,
and all the cats,
demure on front porches,
have that cool, do-I-care stare.

more

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


JOHN MCBRIDE

John McBride, Ph.D (English, Univ. of Illinois), MSW (Iowa), taught and held administrative posts at the Universities of Illinois, Michigan, and Iowa, has won awards from many state poetry societies, and is published in a variety of journals.

This page was first displayed
on March 06, 2006

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