To live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying. – Joan of Arc

If we walk far enough, I am sure we shall sometime come to someplace. – Dorothy Gale

Two farm girls,
one grown old and one who never grew up,
sit in an unfamiliar field
where the grasses don’t
wave. You’d think language would be
an obstacle, but here
nothing gets lost in translation
as they speak about what they know best: the sky
barely past night, the rooster rousing
the hands awake,
and how they hauled the buckets of water to do
what their mothers did. Until the day
their dreams, or not,
got them into so much trouble,
transporting them from the flat,
gray world into a miracle come

Who else could know what it is like to touch
something like God in a moment
so fierce it inflames the heart? Only they
understand what each has seen and lost.

J. starts to tell Dot about the end,
how she was bound to the post, her prayers
piercing the light, blown skyward
like the splinters and ash.
Then she goes silent, as if that’s the way
to forget when there’s no forgetting.

Later, J. says Dot got off easy
and Dot says she can’t complain
but, of course, she can,
about the neighbor on the bike who held a grudge,
the mind-numbing days that slam like the back
of a husband’s hand, the rows and rows
of corn in a kind of congregational stupor, and she,
waiting, dear god, for something to happen, to relive
the wind and the crash
and the splendor again.

What they have left behind
gets turned into words too small for what they have known,
and so now they take each other’s hand as if they have been
waiting for one another all this time
and they prepare to dream anew,
not lost but found,