Barbed Wire Fences and Billboards by Anne Graue

Barbed Wire Fences and Billboards

Anne Graue

______I._____As the crow flies

_______________dissects wheat sorghum
____________________milo for the pigs
_______________spots fox and coyote
____________________screeches over water
Hail Mary
signs glint
and white
on a barbed wire fence

_____II._____All around Robin Hood’s barn

___________Take Highway 69 around to 160 to 59
___________Stay_____on the beaten path
___________if you blink
you’ll miss
_________________________the wide spot
______________________________in the road
the pro-life
billboards_______fetus blood stark on white

____III. _____Sure as shootin’

_______________you’ll end up in a ditch
_______________in Bumfuck Egypt knee deep
_______________in water
catfish and
for a feast
_______________hunt quail in season
____________________before the muzzle loader shoot

____IV._____In a month of Sundays

_______________30 country miles to the
_______________the horizon
Storm a’comin’
_______________and the sky opens up
_______________buckets of petrichor
____________________earth steaming

_____V._____Come Hell or high water

_______________the sun’s
_______________Methodist women
gather in…….tornado shelters
_______________look down
_______________peel potatoes
_______________grate cheese
tell stories

____VI._____Red sky at morning

far from
any ocean
_______________bleeding Kansas
_______________wetlands near the Marais des Cygnes
_______________near Trading Post
the battle
_______________of Mine Creek and the Twin Trees
____________________in the free state
____________________of intelligent design

____VII._____Burning a hole in the daylight

a mirage
on a
_______________a single lamp in Holcomb
_______________glows over a tractor
____________________the white porch the
_________________________the Clutter family ghosts



© Anne Graue


Anne Graue is the author of Fig Tree in Winter, available from Dancing Girl Press. Her poems have appeared in The Westchester Review, The Fem, Random Sample Review, The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly, and The Plath Poetry Project. Additional poetry is forthcoming in Blood and Roses: An Anthology In Honor of Aphrodite. She has reviewed literary magazines and poetry chapbooks for New Pages. Her author website is at