Meadows is its name—
cornfields abutting the highway into town,
grain elevator alongside the tracks.
Pastures skirt the outlying barns and sheds,
where cows may graze.  An elder-care facility
runs its ramps down to the walks and well-cut lawns.
Each village house presides over its plot of grass.

In my dreamscape, Meadows isn’t green—
not pastoral but proud, and hard with pavement.
Stone alleys, their sharp turns opening into
narrow courtyards, rough-hewn uneven steps
ascending to sun-baked terraces.
The only verdure is the weeds pushing through
crevices, hairy thistles sporting their purple flowers.

Clambering over cobbles, hugging the scant shade of walls,
I stop when suddenly given a small sun-powered car. 
With this vehicle, I see a way
to gain the freeway, which, I’m told,
leads to the evergreen forest where, in a cool glade
families are feasting.  But fortune here is meager . . .

Missing the turn to the access road—misconstruing
an avenue for the on-ramp, I’m routed into a maze of narrow,
rutted paths where every turn and twist takes me
farther from the torrid surfaces, deeper, to discover
a town’s wet core.  Here in its teeming cellar
I’ve no other course but to pay homage
to the savage greening of the meadowlands,
the non-negotiable energy rising from roots and stems.

Playing Outside, Finishing Line Press, 2005