Two Poems


American Gothic

I stand before you
a poem etched pitchfork
in my hand,

though you offer me yours
with nothing etched in the handle
but the wear of work.

The woman beside you
wears an expression
from so long standing beside you,

and behind you both
the house.

Though hay lies in the fields
I etch another poem in the handle
like grooves wagons leave in mud,

or like the house itself
to those who step inside.

After the Iowa Caucus

Finally the circus left town…
with its trapeze acts, its knife
throwers and clowns,

and the quiet of cornfields
returned to the town square,
and to coffee houses

between thoughtfully
planted rows of conversation

in which we can again agree
on such matters as topsoil,
and rain.

photo by John Lawrence Hanson

photo by John Lawrence Hanson

About the Author
Bill Graeser, a Long Island native, has worked as dairy farmer, carpenter, teacher of Transcendental Meditation and is currently the Locksmith at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa. In 2016 Bill placed second in the adult category of the Iowa Poetry Association. In 2012 he won their Norman Thomas Memorial Award. Published in North American Review, Michigan Avenue Review, Lyrical Iowa, Chiron Review, Long Island Quarterly, Dryland Fish, and This Enduring Gift. He is the author of Fire in a Nutshell, available at Lulu Press.