Visiting the Farm by Mark Petrie

The stretch from Black Canyon
City to Verde Valley winds up
two-lane slopeslllllloncoming big rigs fly
llllllllllltowards youllllllthe long box
llllllllllllllltrailers navigating
lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllldescentllllllTo reach
lllllllllllthe first plateaullllllSunset Point
ignore the elk and avalanche warning
signsllllllexitsllllllBloody Basinllllllthe invitation
llllllllllto admire the landscapelllllllviewllllllsudden drop
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllover the railingllllllthe car
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllldown the mountain
The second half is easylllllljust spend time thinking
lllllllllllabout the man in the radio
lllllllllllwhat you’ll gain vacationing
llllllllllllllalonelllllescape the heady neighborhood
llllllllllllllllllllllthe community of concern and
when you arrivelllllllif there’s a dog
llllllllllllllllllllllrunning madly to greet you or
llllllllllllllllllllllbehind the porch screen you see the door’s
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllopen and
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllsomeone is inside
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllwaitlllllThe farm
llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllshould be abandoned
lllllllllllCome back at dusk and bring a weapon.

Mark Petrie’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Artemis, Lunch Ticket, Blackheart Magazine, Geist, Citizen Brooklyn and other journals. He lives in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he is a doctoral student and University Fellow in English Literature/Creative Writing at the University of Louisiana. He is the winner of the Academy of American Poets/Andrea Saunders Gereighty 2012 Poetry Award, the 2nd Annual Geist Erasure Poetry Contest, and he received honorable mention for the 2011 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry. For links to more of Mark’s work, please visit

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