Kansas Promise

Saudamini Siegrist
| poetry


I knew a bullnecked man in Kansas, born

of woman, plowman, fellow man, he turned

into a swan. The dust and yellow corn

of Kansas in the sun, the same sun burned


the windblown soul of him. The man is dead,

he laid his broken body down. The swan

of him, the Kansas sun and sky have shed

their weight of him in gold. The dead live on


in Kansas, risen now the dust, the plow

that raised a man to be a swan, that reared

an ocean up of Kansas corn and cow

has sworn in me, the voice I have heard,


the promise Kansas made, I still can hear,

the voice, his voice, the promise I remember.


Saudamini Siegrist was born in Montana and grew up in the West and Midwest. She earned a doctorate in English literature at NYU and a master’s in poetry at Columbia, and has taught at St. John’s University and at Fordham University. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Forge, Free State Review, Studio One, The Worcester Review, Zone 3 and Al-Raida Journal. She currently lives in New York City.

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