I believe any place on earth can be
lovely: Illinois soy bean and cornfields,
the ever-even stalks lined in their rows
in late July, still moist but golden.
Detassling is hard work that I bore for
just a day, my skin raging red with itch,
but even that memory does not dissuade:
a steady horizon is a comfort.
There exist reasons enough to stay:
not just big shoulders, railroads, but the whole
length of this blue-and-red state, its halved breadth,
our families settled in its belly.
There exist reasons enough to leave:
I am 42, full grown and brawling.
Anna Leahy's book, Constituents of Matter, won the Wick Poetry Prize, and her work appears in Crab Orchard Review, Cream City Review, Drunken Boat, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Southern Review, and other journals or anthologies. Leahy teaches in the MFA and BFA programs at Chapman University.