Guest Poet Daniel Phelps

Boise Idaho 

Old women stand crooked in pastel kitchens 
	and burning pies too sweet 
	for their dentures to chew 

Half - hidden children play adult games in fields 
	Crunching through dry corn husks 
	Peering eyes glance menacingly 
	directly at them 
	from scarecrows posted like sentinels 
	in rows upon stalks 

Blind aging men spit and argue 
	listening to a radio 
	unevenly leaned up against a rocking chair leg 
	Soft - dry - voiceless music struggles from its speakers 

Another day passes monotonously 
	as the last struggling fingers 
	sink below the horizon's edge 
	and the sun drowns in darkness

March, 1998

Daniel Phelps' Questions:

I have never actually been to Idaho but the feeling I got while writing this piece made me think of Boise.  Does this imagery lead you to a place that seems to be remote and calm like that of a small town?
I have been told that I should change the order of the stanzas.  Does that make sense and if so, why?
Is the poem long enough as is?  Do you get the image I am attempting to create, or should I try and add more?

Correspond with Daniel Phelps at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop