He believed: a fish that’s caught shouts a warning
to all the rest, that lightning would never strike
the same spot twice, and other quaint convictions
of sodbusters whose wisdom was as thin
as the ice on Cowskin Creek in November.
He believed: all the fine print of the railroad brochures,
how mild the winters were in Kansas, how yellow
rocks big as your fist were scattered all over California.
He said yes to third class steerage where migrants crowded
like slaves, yes, to people who said rain followed the plow.
He believed America was a place you could start all over.
He believed in the second coming.