The thought of riding my bicycle up and down Indiana State Road 55 and even getting as far as DeMotte, exhausted and proud because we also got back, makes me realize today how big I felt our world was back then no matter how small it actually was by other measurements. Like burrowing rodents on a communal challenge, we knew that trip my brother and I took to DeMotte broke important, new ground.

There was a hill half a mile from the prairie farm we had to climb to reach our destination. We were told to be careful because cars could not see us. We were careful, at least on our bikes, or lucky that few cars usually drive that rural road. I wondered why that hill was there at all considering how flat everywhere else was. At the time I reasoned that even the slightest elevation, say a foot, must be caused by a dinosaur’s body lying somewhere below. I wanted to dig them up and then keep going to China.

I can still see that hill, but I can’t find it for sure on Google Maps. The information online does put in perspective most of the places I heard and imagined as a child. “So that’s where they are!” I tell myself. However, I don’t need an online map for that hill. Even in my memory it remains difficult to bike up, but fun to ride down.


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday.  Mish is hosting with the theme “hometown”.

Photo: “Trees in Winter”

Prairie Trees

It’s flat for farming and the trees
Are tall and silent like the corn.
Farmers left a few of these.
In the sunlight both are worn.
Shadows show what dominates
On these plains with open skies.
The urban far off concentrates
Dreams but here the roots are wise.

Text: Linked to dVerse Poetics. Mish hosts.  She’s featuring the photography of Sharon Knight.

Photo: Sharon Knight took the featured photo. She titled it “for b.”. Other photos by her can be seen at SunEarthSky — Meditations from the Midwest.

Autumn Prairie

Whatever comes to cool the air
And make the greenless leaves descend
And make the clouds seem strange up there
I welcome as a smiling friend
Who tucks the prairie in to sleep
And offers dreams for it to keep.

Linked to dVerse Poetics. Kim of Writing in North Norfolk host with the request to write about “one autumnal item”. My item is a photo, “Tree and Grass”, I took last autumn that represents for me the prairie in autumn.