by Deana Chadwell7/8/16

November wedding
Martell, Nebraska
White steepled church
Old stained glass
Dark wood pews
Smell of old hymnals
Little blonde girls
in lavender dresses
Buzz-cut boys
in plaid shirts
Pachelbel from upright piano
After posed pictures
reception in basement
with luan paneling and
Sunday school felt boards
Fried chicken
Cherry Jello coleslaw
Back at the house
men gather in kitchen
around radio
for the football game
Women chat
in small bunches
and lay out more food
still in lavender and plaid
weave in constant motion
around their placid

Spring afternoon
Yakima River
Red-tailed hawk
Hovers over cottonwoods
rattling in the wind
Up-river float
a phalanx of brown pelicans
Large tabby cat
prowls after mice
among unpainted outbuildings
Garden spider spins
a bridge between
leaning fence posts
Tall woman plants
marigolds in pots
down the front steps
of the wide-porched house
Two boys wander
off through tall grass
followed by
an old black lab

Summer evening
Louisville, Nebraska
Baseball diamond
Chain link fence
backing bleachers
Nearby — railroad tracks
and grain elevator
Banks of lights
bathing diamond and benches
Eleven-year-old boys
sliding in dust
Outfielders missing fly balls
Overweight moms
in t-shirts and flip-flops
carrying diet Pepsi’s
while shooing smaller children
Fathers shouting
directions to sons
who are washed
in electrified evening light
loving the dust
and being the best
they can be

Last day of December
Central Park
Air still and crackling
sky above trees
and the Met
crystal blue
Path winds past
globed lamps,
past a cluster of elderly
mustachioed men in fedoras
and neck scarves
Under stone bridges
past ice skaters
Strawberry Fields and
through Columbus Circle
Down Broadway
crowds thicken
Small dusty desk
in front of antique store
too big for souvenir
Finally and footsore
Times Square
where multitudes
will watch crystal ball
announce but

Deana Chadwell blogs at and is a writing and speech professor at Pacific Bible College in Southern Oregon.
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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2 Responses to Americana

  1. Glenn Fairman says:

    Lawrence Ferlingetti lives……..a wonderful Coney Island of the Mind, Deana.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Deana sent me this poem a couple weeks ago and only now am I getting around to posting it. Well, “Poets Lives Matter,” so I finally did. It’s a charm.

    I can kinda-sort appreciate her innate and careful love for the small details — stopping to smell the roses, if you will. I’m a bit like my older brother. He played a couple of his new songs (they were great) at his Independence Day BBQ and he said he writes his best stuff when he’s really pissed off. I suspect a new one will be coming soon because of recent events.

    It’s a different side of the coin and an attitude that can praise the good and be inspired by it.

    Two boys wander
    off through tall grass
    followed by
    an old black lab

    Did I mention that “Lab Lives Matter?” You see, once the Left infects you, even as a worthy rhetorical adversary, it can poison your soul. Deana’s poem is tonic for those weighed down by the garbage produced by human vulgarity, dishonesty, and ignoblemania. Thanks, Deana.

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