We'd been driving all day
and the day before.
Nebraska rolled by like a movie
and through that movie rolled a billboard:
Come visit the Frontier Village
"Let's do it," he said.
So we did. Off the interstate
and down some flat, empty roads
through those rich, manured fields
to a spaceship perched in a parking lot:
round, white, with wings and angles
and a muddy pond filled with geese.
Stepping out of the car,
that space just hit us,
a great gale of straight lines
and the smell of the good brown earth.
I felt empty above my head and my shoulders ached
but we walked into it.
In the marble foyer, they wanted money
so we marched back into the land of straight lines
and found a garden
just like the Red Queen's.
Our shoes sucked in the mud
but we perservered
and emerged by an old, old, train
covered with weeds.
Further, we found houses, all empty and still.
In the distance,
a woman in a mud-colored dress waved to us
and carried a bucket into her house.
We peeked in windows,
into the mayor's house, the train station
the barbershop, and the doctor's office.
On the way back through it,
I ducked into a building full of monuments
to use the bathroom.
Washing my hands, I looked in the mirror.
Against those brassy walls,
my face hung thin and angular,
my hair not blonde but red.
Blue eyes stared back without glasses.
Who is this woman? I wondered
I'd never seen her before. I turned
and hurried back to the car.