no more than usual, but we notice them more;
the wind pounds an echo in the trees.
Day two: we pick up everything that blew off the porch,
close up sheds again,
I lose my best baseball cap.
Day three: everyone is jittery,
the help at the post office is jittery,
the guys who hang out
in Bill Cody’s Irma Bar are jittery,
even the librarians are jittery.
Day four: you’re mad at me
because you think
I wasn’t paying attention to you,
but hey, layoff, I couldn’t hear you
because of the damn wind.
Day five: somebody across the table
has one of those forced smiles
after she has just picked
a piece of sand out of her teeth.
Day six: there’s a report
up in the canyon
you can just about fly.
Bill Hoagland's poetry has appeared in The
Denver Quarterly, Nebraska Review,
Poem, Seneca Review, Writers' Forum,
South Coast Poetry Journal, The Hollins
Critic, The Shop and many other journals,
as well as in the anthologies The Last
Best Place and Ring of Fire: Writers
of the Yellowstone Region. He has
published a chapbook of poems entitled
Place of Disappearance, and has been
the recipient of two Wyoming Arts Council
awards in creative writing—a Fellowship
in Creative Writing and a Neltje Blanchan
Nature Writing Award. Originally from
Illinois, Hoagland holds an MFA from
the University of Massachusetts and taught
creative writing and other courses at
small colleges in Montana and Wyoming
until his retirement in 2013. Today he
lives in Cork, Ireland, where he is free t
o write poetry, give occasional readings,
and think about such things as black holes,
perpetual motion machines, and beer.