underneath an emerald moon lies the waiting,
  breathing body of the earth
  cloaked in a shroud of deep indigo darkness.
  sis-sis-sikaw cries the sharp blade of metal wheel,
  gleaming in the dim light
  over miles of cold steel tracks and one rickety bridge at a time.
        (somewhere in the night
      a slow howl slithered into the sky,
    leaving a trail of faint echo in its wake.
         giant rocks towered over houses,
  like a monument to something slightly less than perfect,
           and everyone slept.
   five, six, seven falling stars slid across the spotted canvas,
       tracing a message in the night
                no one saw)
  from the east comes the whisper of a whisper on the wind,
  as if deciphering the message from above.
  if anyone cared to listen,
  they might hear the sound of leaves rustling from miles away,
  applauding the beauty of the written word spoken.
  had anyone cared to listen,
  the quicksilver song of meadowlark might have eased the tossing,
  the soft caress of field mouse feet on a bed of
  deep dakota soil might have stilled the turning.

Jared Ward has had work accepted at Evansville Review, New Delta Review, West Wind Review, elimae, Storyglossia, Underground Voices, Hobart, and others. He is currently in the MFA Creative Writing program at the University of Arkansas.

Copyright 2009