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Praise Song to Blackford County, Indiana
Daniel Bowman, Jr. (bio)

Praise for Highway 26,
the seven miles from
Upland to Hartford City,
praise for the rows of corn,
that they are not alike:
one weaves through undulations,
another threads a lone hickory;
praise for the low soybean,
small and tender,
close the earth where a toad

could stay
cool in a drought like last year’s;
praise for the bells
of Gethsemane tolling
summer’s slow half-hours;
praise for the porch swing’s slender
slats which flex beneath
my body, its silver chains reflecting
sun, the mortis and tenon
joints painted black;

praise for the funeral home across
the street, yes, even that, for
Lorca said that to create art, one
must maintain “a vivid
awareness of death” and death
comes to Keplinger’s
in the rain when fog hangs low
over sewer drains and the
wind whips orange flags
on cars in procession

announcing a Hoosier’s
return to the earth;
praise for the decayed barn
across the dirt road alley;
praise for the new lilacs
which will form a hedge
and cover it, frame the yard,
stop an errant soccer ball,
bless us in April with perfume,
delicate petals of purple and white.

Daniel Bowman, Jr.

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