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Creek Running North

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December 22, 2004

Iowa

I could live an entire lifetime in Iowa,
huffing steamy breaths into my cupped cold hands,
warming the truck to fetch my wife from her job in town.
When we met in high school, her hair was long and straight
she was nearly swallowed up behind the wheel of her parents' Galaxie 500.
We went to the river once, I would remember sometimes,
and watched ice blocks roll past as tulip poplar buds swelled.

Her father would do this not entirely serious thing
giving me hell for listening to Iowa Public Radio
out of Cedar Falls.
Her mother would buy me shirts
I would have to wear to breakfast Saturday mornings in Waterloo.

I would fill their tank and pay for it,
plow their driveway on my way to work.

Watching my wife read the Sunday Courier at the kitchen table,
I would reach over to snap the cuff of her quilted thermal undershirt.

She would be Norwegian or something
but her hair, black in bangs above dark eyes
would curl just below her earlobes, and she would ask
if I had fed the dogs.

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Comments

I think if she were Norwegian or something, her hair probably wouldn't be black, ay? And her eyes probably wouldn't be dark. If she were Norwegian.... :) And she'd probably know if you already fed the dogs, maybe.

Posted by: Tom Montag at December 22, 2004 11:40 AM
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Hey, it's MY fantasy. There's GOTTA be a raven-tressed Scandihoovian out there somewhere.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at December 22, 2004 01:46 PM
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Ah. Mystery solved, Tom. I must have had Berna in the back of my mind while writing this, and so she didn't know whether I'd fed the dogs because she'd make them live out in the barn.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at December 22, 2004 03:26 PM
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And because she's part Italian.

Posted by: Pica at December 23, 2004 06:35 AM
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My friend Bente is Norwegian and has black hair; her legend is that it came from Roman invaders.

Posted by: beth at December 23, 2004 01:50 PM
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Actually, except for a few days of cold snap before Christmas, it's not that unbearably cold in Iowa of late. Not unless you're living in a big old drafty house with a furnace in dire need of maintenance. Thanks to global warming, the weather approached 50 degrees here this week. Unreal. Blows your fantasy, sorry.

Posted by: Z*lda at January 1, 2005 02:12 PM
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regardless of all that reality check business, I loved the poetry. :)

Posted by: susurra at January 1, 2005 11:55 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs