Ann Hostetler: "Topeka, Indiana"




First shift is over. Semis and horse-drawn buggies

pause at the four-way flashing red light in the center


of town where I sit on a bench, a can of Diet Hansen’s

Creamy Root Beer sweating in my hand.


Amish men on custom reclining bicycles

weave in and out of traffic. One putters along


in a battery-powered wheel chair. Young Amish women

in pastels and head coverings totter into the drugstore


on platform sandals from Walmart. July sun beats

down on all of us. Clouds drift above.


I sit until traffic thins, until the only man in town

who knows who I am hands me the key


to my well-worn Honda, oil fresh and brakes relined,

and I drive home past fields soaked in late-afternoon light.



Ann Hostetler is the author of a volume of poetry, Empty Room with Light, and the editor of A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry.