Eastern Wyoming

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 6/4/08

Why is it that even in country so desolate
That they bother to name and post a sign
For a town with a population of one,
Where the grasslands roll and pitch
To horizons seldom blighted by a tree,
And where the streams are so austere that their banks
Can hardly sprout a single willow, why is it,
That in this episcopate of isolation,
Where a wild ungulate can rest in a sea of green,
Not even thinking “mate,” let alone “herd,”
Why is it that here, even here, we still have
The feeling of being replicated? And who is this
Duplication, so like a pillar of invisibility,
Who can rust tight the arms of old windmills,
So that the wind just thumps at them
Without inciting a single spin? And why is it
That this divergence splits the mind, one half
An intensity of transactive memory, older
Than speech, and one half a vaguely familiar
Foreigner, tall, graceful, his or her emptiness
Mutated by a small number of specialized cells,
Which secretly fashion this eternal division of labor?
Why is it that in this place, where the human
Is still so rare, that somehow numberless shadows
Can fall from just one person, as if a whole city
Of abandoned dreams could still be peopled
By this everlasting wind.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.