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Spring 2001, Volume 18.3



Larsen Bowkerphoto of Larsen Bowker.


Larsen Bowker (Ph.D., U of Rhode Island) is currently an English teacher and coach of the men's tennis team at Virginia Tech. He has published poems in England, Canada and the United States. His first chapbook will be published by The Plowan Press in the summer of 2001.


Branches with Green Leaves

My six year old grandson
Doesn't realize that I'm retired
And have no voice
In important affairs anymore,

And his eyes grow big
When I tell him about
The bones I found beside
The stream in the hollow
Below our house,

And he believes me
When I tell him to hang
On to the branches with green
leaves when he edges
Down the steep bank to the stream,

And he believes it's important
Work to repair these trails, even
Asking if we can build new
Ones to new places.

And when the trail back
To the house gets steep
And rocky, he puts his hand
In mine, and I know
I'm safe, for a little while.


Prairie Winds

My father was part Kiowa,
And rode horses over Nebraska's
Virgin plains for forty years, man
And horse making the other more.

But emphysema strapped him
Inside an oxygen tent he crawled
Out of after three days, startling nurses
And family as he walked from the hospital,

Thumb and forefinger brimming
His favorite hat across his forehead
At an angle he used when
The occasion was important

And headed home
Twelve miles away, where
The sunlight would burn away
The death rattle of iron beds,

Letting it come
Like the horse only he
Could ride over
Open plains,

Prairie winds
Stinging tears
From dark brown eyes.


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