​​​​​​​​​​sky        is        widest               where man        first        crawled
into       glittering         world
stiff        &           blue                &       blank
no           heaviness       in          air
earth       quilt     stitchedblankets
Cercis canadensis                       crowned tight clusters 
ballet slipper buds,          leaves cut
             image of your heart
                          scarlet-winged lichen 
             moth blends
w/ magenta tinted bark
feathered            waves              prairie dropseed
drawled              whistling         kip 
a mountain plover
in short grass
Cynomys ludovicianus,     boundless
             across                   farmed          land
             w/o black-footed ferrets
faded chartreuse 
clumps of needle grass,
             wood-nymph & swallowtail 
low branches
stunted juniper, 
greater sage grouse mossy eyebrows
& high white collar 
forages fruit
between prickling leaves
             Liatris spicata, blazing stars 
draw plump golden northern bumble bees
& black long horn bees
& waspy cuckoo bees
& honey bees

Sky      is             wider     after     bulldozers        rip 
open                    veins     in dark                soil
dirt spilled blood
overturned earth  & metal. 

G R E A T   P L A I N S   C O N S T R U C T I O N   S I T E

B Y   E L A   T H O M P S O N

Ela Thompson is a current MFA poetry student at George Mason University, where they are the assistant poetry editor of the feminist literary journal, So to Speak. Honors include the 2015 Marion Zulaf Poetry Prize and the short fiction prize of the 2011 Missouri Literary Festival. Their work has also been featured in The Mercury

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