Story is a small town nestled at the base of the BighornMountains about twenty miles south of my home town of Sheridan. My mother lived there for several years before she died of cancer in 1999. I don’t go there often anymore, but my family used to visit the town quite a bit when I was growing up. Tourist attractions include a fish hatchery, picnic area, various hiking trails, motels, bed and breakfast facilities, and restaurants.
I belong to a poetry group that meets the third Thursday of each month for a couple of hours in the afternoon. We write together, share what we’ve written, and critique each other’s work. When we started several years ago, we had an instructor, but she has left us, and we take turns facilitating our meetings each month.
We met in Story a couple of times. One of our participants arranged for us to use the back yard of a craft shop belonging to a friend. After eating sack lunches, we had our meeting as usual. We did an exercise in which we listened to sounds around us and wrote about what we heard. This was supposed to be a nature poem, but as you’ll note from the finished product below, there were other sounds that weren’t necessarily natural.
This poem was published in Distant Horizons, an anthology of poems by Wyoming poets. You can also read it on my Website. To learn more about Story, Wyoming, visit http://www.wyomingtourism.org/overview/Story/31460 To find out more about WyoPoets, the organization that produced the book in which my poem appears, go to http://www.wyopoets.org/
A STORY AFTER NOON
Flies buzz the table.
A cicada skitters back and forth.
Its incessant click click click draws near, fades away.
Cars rush by
while in the distance, hammers pound,
saws whine, dogs bark.
Hummingbirds flit about
with wings like weed eaters.
A mother admonishes her child to stay close
while the chatter of others permeates the air.
A lawn mower drones far away.
Birds chirp–a phone rings.
I hear other noises,
as I try and fail to write a nature poem.
Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome