A Poem by Paul Stroble



Land of Lincoln 


I’ve been thinking again

about him, his profile 


on Heritage Trail signs; 

Land of Lincoln on cars and pickups


along all my childhood’s two-lanes. 

Trailer behind the farmhouse, 


yards of fireflies beneath 

crab apples branches; 


the lunch crowd at Lucy’s, 

motels, garages, parks. 


Springfield on old Route 66, 

Corn Dogs on the west,


grain elevators 

along the Sixth Circuit.


Shall we trim the honeysuckle 

from the old picnic area 


on 51 and have our KFC 

in the remaining neglect?  


Railroad lanes lonely and rusted, 

Land of Lincoln and drug store postcards   


four score and ten.  Is it 

too much to say that wild flowers


and stones themselves cry out

with malice toward none


Abe and Jesus vie for which 

we Illinois folk heard first, 


saving souls or saving the Union, 

crossing the Jordan or the Sangamon.



36B8424F-1D52-458D-BCAC-EEE9D1CC5EDEPaul Stroble teaches at Webster University in St. Louis. A former grantee of the NEH and the Louisville Institute, he has I’ve published twenty books on a variety of subjects, including three poetry chapbooks with Finishing Line Press and another forthcoming. One of his chapbooks was nominated for a Society of Midland Authors Award. His poems have appeared in Big Muddy, Tipton Poetry Journal, Pikeville Review, Springhouse, Pegasus, and others.


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