Poem: Missouri River Town

It’s National Poetry Month, and once again, Missouri is experiencing spring storms and flooding. I wrote this poem a few years ago, after driving through a small town that frequently floods and had been hit particularly hard the year before when the Missouri River overflowed its banks.


*Missouri River Town

In the last block before
The capricious water
A parade of houses on stilts
But no Uncle Sam hats
Or juggling pins spinning
Dour faces on most
Gray at the edges
Permanent five o’clock shadows
From silt slopped
Around the bottoms

One bright countenance
Costumed as the canary
Emerging from the coal mine
Fresh painted optimistic yellow

The show goes on


*This poem originally appeared in Well Versed.