I’ve Arrived

Edie Barrett

I’m here I’ve arrived

in rural Minnesota

a small town where the Dairy Queen is the threshold guardian

along Highway 75.

I admit

when all the world seems too much for me I seek refuge with her

in a vanilla swirl dipped in nut crunch.

 

My camper rocks back and forth in the wind and sometimes squeaks

like a mattress in a cheap motel.

I’m sure this will keep the neighbors wondering about the woman from California

in the caravan.

 

Yesterday it hailed so hard against the tin roof I put cotton in my ears.

I watched in awe

as the landscape was quickly covered in a blanket of mothballs.

 

With one stray treat

I have won the heart of the dog next door.

I find his devotion to me utterly…

crushing.

 

My sister’s tulips

are blooming on the farm.

She walks around with her bucket and clippers selecting red, yellow, and white flowers.

Her prized parrot tulips sway in the wind

with their ruffled négligée edges.

They are so beautiful

but not as beautiful as she.

 

I am reading Kathleen Norris’ Dakota

and I’m reminded of what it means to be in a small town.

I am humbled by the thought I am on my knees…

still

and I wonder how in God’s name I will keep a low profile

or

if I’m meant to.

 

But mostly

I pray to be smart.


From The Sacred Prairie: Reflections of Nature & Self, poetry compilation by Edie Barrett, published 2022