A Californian Visits Indiana

“Indiana,” my brother said, “is nice . . .”
A tactful pause.
“I would miss the ocean,” he went on,
Looking across the waving meadows
Toward the islands of trees.
Rabbits, diving from a harrier’s shadow,
plunged through the grassy shallows.
In the depths of the forest where deer
Hovered, leaves and branches swayed
in the currents of the air.
“I’d miss the beach,” he said, “the dunes,
The glittering expanse — ”
Here, where soon snow, whipped by wind,
Will drift against each dry stalk,
Sparkling to the horizon.
“And of course I’d miss the mountains,” he panted.
We clambered up limestone bluffs
Through knotted roots of hemlocks.
Far beneath us a stream glinted,
A kestrel swooped; crows argued in the oaks.
“So tell me,” he said.
“Why do you like it here?”

Damaris Zehner is an associate professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. She is the author of The Between Time, a collection of essays, and a contributor to blogs such as resilience.orglocalfutures.org/blog/, and internetmonk.com. She has lived and worked on four continents, equipping educators, translators, and gardeners with training and supplies. Her blog, Integrity of Life (https://www.damariszehner.com/) focuses on sane living in the present and in the coming post-industrial world.

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