Time after time, the cock points
to shed, barn, dale,
to this yarn of father and son.
Generosity is black and white
memory, goodbye, hello.

The tavern and the automobile
define lives. The face is a canvass
of roads worn,
siblings’ sides
and legacies yet to sow.

The face is a canvass
on which compressed air forms
a sometimes curiosity
a 1979’s good quality
a hasty self-esteem
and years of modesty.
My farmlands are black and white
romances that others have won.

Vertical miles down
an americana of goosebumps
and folksiness unsung.
We don’t need your songs.
We just might need our sons.

A flashbulb lasts five minutes
and we have a portrait
of carburettor, assault, manners
and a legacy lacking in fault.
No sheep by these vast plains —
just seasons of accompaniment
on an earth of salt.

Graves tell tales more
serious than a canvass of faces
and plains. Children turn
a leaf, and in a weathercock’s
doodle, become in parents’ frame.

A truck and a wrench
a fleeting faraway war
a silhouette of journalism,
and one mail opened. No country song
only pleasantries
that are evil just so marketing
does not write off the midwestern.

The bard lets weather take off ears
on the faces of hill and dale.
Incomplete yet firm
and yet unheard
is the talk of towns nameless
with families of graceful tone.

The face is a canvass
that in black and white
shows that ambition is merely
and wonderfully karaoke
and meatloaf in yonder tavern.

I’ll remember the son.
Open roads keep the focus
of time passed, and time
that will never be sung.

Time that will never be sung
after times and times
of brothers, meadows,
billings and lincolns,
of change that need not come.