The book is clear on this. Distance
and destiny. The way countries are
settled when a center softens. A sneeze
in the dust – that early blow for what lands
where it lands – from there, just there.
Early travelers pushed wagons through
mud to get there, took to ravage the sod
when timber was no good for timber.
Soon they just ran out of room.
The book says distance is limited,
to take what there is, calls it obvious.
And somehow some still settled
for the middle slough for nothing
more than to stretch the gap
by sitting down. Because they had to.
By right, they said. My right, they said.
Read more of Ray McManus’s poetry.
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