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AR #57 Cover
number 57

by James Doyle

The Longboat Farm

The wind's arrow through the prairie
grass always pointed the same way
and I followed it
every summer out of school
to the Savigs' barn
and their Viking boat.

This was true sailing. The straw
crested and washed
against the sides. The horses moody
in their stalls for the North Sea
watched from the shore.
I imagined killing my dog

for Viking food month after month
of Arctic ice cracking
the prow. The Savigs never
noticed the boat,
farmed their land morning
and night for all the old country

was worth, but their daughter
came towards me, year
after year, nine, ten, eleven,
her hair blond for the horizons
and her hands rough
with seed graining.

We had no names. Salt
from all the prehistoric oceans
of the Midwest tilted layer by layer
through the prairie air, licked
our skin. The sunburnt dog
screamed in a circle.

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