The Kansas I remember
by Greg Stidham
is one of rolling hayfields
on both sides of I-135 north,
from Wichita to Salina, gold grass
as far as the eye can see,
all the way west to the horizon.
A dark drape hangs there,
over the earth’s end, though the air
smells of sweet mown grass,
punctuated only once by the stench
of fresh manure fertilizer.
And later, the pure clean smell
of ozone, creeping over the hayfields,
as dusk falls too quickly,
and the hairs on my arms bristle
before the first explosion of lightning,
the drumbeat of hail on the roof
preceding even the thunder.
Greg Stidham is a retired pediatric intensivist (ICU physician) currently living in Kingston, Ontario, with his wife Pam and their two foundling “canine kids.” Greg’s passion for medicine has yielded in retirement to his other lifelong passions—literature and creative writing.