Saturday, September 04, 2004


by Shoshauna Shy

Nobody talks
about the weather in Cheney
because picnics aren't soggy
and the jeans you forgot
on the line will stay dry
If you leave Solitaire
on the wicker chair
at the end of the verandah
no wind will take it
and the rustless Hudsons
like your great-uncle would drive
still prowl Cocolalla Street
What a relief
to not have to waste time
small-talkin' weather
when you get to Cheney



by Shoshauna Shy

First wander through Emerald Grove's antique store
amongst fishing nets and rusty kerosene lamps
for a spitbox in which to plant Queen Anne's lace.
Unpin dishtowels from a clothesline
and notice how the leaves
of the neighboring poplar
shimmy in the wind.
Enter a cabin that has been sitting empty
while its owners take a cross-country train
to New York.
With her book on your lap, cup the chin
of a cat as it sprawls beside you
on a windowsill, the breeze thick
with the scent of cherry blossoms.
Remember how your husband's former fiancée
whose pregnancy was terminated
asked to come visit, couldn't take her eyes
off your little boy.

"Compensation for a Sunburned Hiker" was published previously by Moon Journal Press (Winter 2001) and "The Best Way To Read Lorine Niedecker's Poems" by Wisconsin Academy Review (Fall 2003). Reprinted here by permission of the poet. Shoshauna Shy is a member of the Prairie Fire Poetry Quartet and the founder of Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf, a program with the mission of placing poetry in public places where it is not expected. Her poems have been published on-line and in numerous journals and magazines, including Poetry Northwest, Cimarron Review, The Comstock Review, and Rosebud. One of her poems was selected for the Poetry 180 Library of Congress program, "A Poem a Day in American High Schools" launched by Billy Collins. She edited Lake Wingra Morning: Poems of the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood (2003).



I'm interested in considering your "poems of place" for publication in The Middlewesterner's "Saturday's Poem" feature; send two or three of your best in the body of an e-mail addressed to . Put "Saturday's Poem" in the subject line. Then be patient. I will get back to you about whether I'll use your work or not. Send along a short biographical note and information about where your books can be purchased and I'll include that when your poem runs. There's no payment involved for having your work appear in "Saturday's Poem," but the feature is seen by some high class readers. About thirty-two of them, by our current count.

o Harriet Brown, "Speaking Midwestern" and "Where We Went" - July 10, 2004

o Robin Chapman, "By the Wisconsin River" - June 12, 2004
o Karl Elder, "In a Town Called Unincorporated" - August 28, 2004
o Susan Firer, "The Butterfly Graveyard" - May 22, 2004
o Susan Firer, "The Bright Waterfall of Angels" - August 14, 2004
o R. Chris Halla, "My Prairie Wedding" - June 5, 2004
o Karla Huston, "Night Swim" and "Summer Storm" - July 31, 2004
o Loren Kleinman, "Formaggio" and "Jetsam" - July 24, 2004
o Jim Reese, "Ritual" and "Willing and Ready" - May 29, 2004
o John Rezmerski, "What I Am Trying to Tell You: Prairie in My Mouth" and "Some Good Things Left After the War With the Sioux" - August 21, 2004
o Robert Schuler, "Thaw, 2003, Stanton Township" and "The American Millenium" - June 26, 2004
o Judith Strasser, "Apostle Islands History" and "County Road" - July 17, 2004
o Marilyn Taylor, "Surveying the Damage" - June 19, 2004
o Complete index to poems here

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