go to the State Fair
to be a loyal Minnesotan,
but if you do go
You don’t have to run the gauntlet
of cotton candy vendors, get snarled
like a cat in it’s sticky yarn;
You don’t have to deny your acrophobia
and try out all the machines that are geared
to drive you up beyond a sense of return;
You don’t have to mourn a childhood
that didn’t give you the responsibility
for raising a sheep, a hog or a heifer;
You don’t have to take summer houseguests
along to show off our native crafts or contemplate
all those tiny stitches sewn into quilts;
And you certainly can skirt the fowl barn,
not cluck at chickens who are the genetic pride
of some rather odd feathery folks.
Nor do you need to rush, dodge, or fight
the crowds or take small children along, no matter
how much they plead with you to do so.
But if you go, slow down,
observe what’s going on, the multitude of people.
And look, there’s a cloud of common grackles.
Have you ever noticed anything beyond their noise?
Seen how their shiny coats refract the light
and how lovely their feathers of purple and bronze?
Now relax with long pieces of observation
cooled by the breeze off the Tilt-a-Whirl,
and take colorful flight into the afternoon.