Fall-Winter 2011




Detail of Springbok Prairie,
above left, by Connie Devendorf.

Detail of Echinacea in snow
by Gail Goepfert.


Don Thackrey

Don Thackrey spent his young years on farms and ranches in the Nebraska Sandhills and still considers the prairie as his home, although he now lives with his wife in Dexter, Michigan, where he is retired from teaching and administering at the University of Michigan. One of his passions in retirement is studying formal verse and trying to get the hang of writing it.

I start another sonnet from the plains
And pause—to ponder all that I omit
When I lift up my joys—dismissing pains
Of lifting to the spreader tons of shit,
Of fighting gnats and skeeters in my sweat,
Of cockleburs, and drought, tomato worms,
Fence that won’t stay fixed, and years with net
Red ink (unpleasant notes from credit firms),
The accidents that take a thumb or eye,
The aging of my wife before her time,
Most markets (and some children) gone awry . . .
Are these the proper stuff of meter, rhyme?
—Well, now I’ve paused a bit—and studied on it.
I think I’ll go ahead and write that sonnet.