Cathy Barber

Midwest Elegy

Because, when we pulled
our roots out of Cleveland
Heights and flew cross-country
and waited two weeks
in the simple, bright apartment
for our stuff to arrive
and to start our new lives—

house and bills and renovations
and more bills, and even
finding the grocery store
and the hardware store
and the post office—
in the best weather in the world

and the scents of flowers
surrounded our chests and skin
accustomed to dark
winters and murky, sweaty,
hot rod-filled summers, and
because the earthy paradise bordered
on cartoon it was almost oppressive—
the sunshine, the relentless
ability to walk outdoors

without raincoat, boots, mufflers,
I almost wanted to call
the police,
I missed the dead Midwest so bad.


Cathy BarberCathy Barber’s poetry has been published in Pinyon, SLAB, Kestrel, and in the anthologies, The Cancer Poetry Project 2, Changing Harm to Harmony, and An Eye For An Eye Makes The Whole World BlindPoets on 9/11. Her poetry has been nominated for a Best of the Net award, 2015. She taught for many years with California Poets in the Schools. She serves on the board of Literary Cleveland and has a chapbook forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. She is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing program.

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