What brings me back is the smell
of firewood and rain splintering the pine,

the bakery which mixes up displaying muffins
when cherry or raspberry, though either is good.

The farm dog growing burdock and searching
for old cow bones on the plateau, Wildcat Rock,

which hurdles to me the same way every time
since I was at eye level with it, both sage, shining pearls.

The family of deer stumbling around the cornfields
in the off-season showing the colors of longevity.

The stain of a pond where I swallowed a tadpole
after a dare, and although gone, tree frogs

still find their way to the windows most nights
as the tractors crank and slowly muscle off

into their sheds. Going past the pastures of palominos
and angus, over the creeks great-grandmother named

as “cricks”, through the barn owl hymns
and coyote cries to that all too familiar draft

again of the land unfurling at my very feet,
taking in the long sip of air blowing in another direction.

Alex Zitzner

Alex Zitzner

Alexander Zitzner is a poetry reader for the Adroit Journal, as well as the Co-Vice President of the West Central region. In his final year at UW-Eau Claire, he is the Editor-In-Chief of their literary magazine, NOTA, as well as an advocate for the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild.