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Maureen Duffy


Listen to Maureen Duffy read "Stopping for a Cool Drink: Wall Drug, South Dakota"

Stopping for a Cool Drink:
Wall Drug, South Dakota

The Prairie is My Garden, the painting claims
and I think, no, that’s a dream
the prairie is my life. 
I’m four and the earth gives beneath my feet as I walk,
the sky around me
deepening rose, violet, green—
cicadas cool the air.

There is no television here,
                    no toys on the floor
                    no stolen bicycles.

The smooth reeds of big blue stem
caress my bare arms
and my mother calls me home—
pancakes and canned peaches
for dinner.
I leave the earth in the bath
and the scent of lilacs
enters me;
my sister stirs
in her bed
cicadas whir, pause…

my brother lies quiet in his crib

I close my eyes

Hawks circle wide, and then dive.

The owl, no, my sister cries
                       piercing the wren 
                                           kitten   in the moonlight.

                             The prairie is my garden
                                                             I dream and

the owl turns his head to gaze at me, yes, in the moonlight.



Maureen Duffy is a writer in New York City. Her work has appeared in Irish Pages, LOST Magazine, and Quiet Lightning. The coda to her recently completed memoir, Intimate Witness, is forthcoming in anderbo.com. As a child, she lived next to a tallgrass prairie too big to see its boundaries. Today, the crowds on the subway do not faze her. She can be found online at theyesticket.blogspot.com.
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