(For Brett, John, and Tommy)
For there is a particular beauty you will only find
in the moons penumbra amidst the thick, humid air
above a Midwestern cornfield in deep July.
When you can, go out together and breathe in the
sweat of the sky. Take your brothers hands,
scream high and loud into the ink dark darkness of
summer that you exist. Stand tall, fair, defiant until the
hangnail moon swoons. Stare out into brightening horizon.
Greet the morning bare knuckled and grinning.
Promise me you’ll always remember to tell tomorrow that
you’ve come ready. Your birthright will prove out, for you
are the children of Illinois soil, Illinois mud in your blood,
soy bean corn dirt water sweats from your pores. You cannot
help but have this world before you, for you chew the same
matter as those that spat hard in the eye of the real, those
who turned rivers against themselves, who dared to
dare when nature wasn’t enough.
Promise me you will, from time to time, step out into
the corn and soy fields of America and look deep into the disappearing
moon, into the stars eternally dying lights,
remember that you come from those who drank deep
from the hubris of the northern rivers,
rivers that thought they could stop us from making
their water go where we wanted.