Poems for Michigan on Her Birthday

Michigan celebrated her birthday this week, having been admitted to the Union as the 26th state on January 26, 1837. To celebrate, I am posting two poems about this place I love and call home. Michigan isn’t perfect – I haven’t seen the sun in two weeks, and then there’s March – but we have The Great Lakes and autumn (my wife would say spring). Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

(photo by Chuck Thiele)
A Michigan Poem

Good enough and excellent
are not the same,
tho’ some never look hard enough
to see the difference.

Good enough is a car ferry,
but you'll wait days during hunting season
and can't cross during storms
or when ice clogs the Straits.
Excellent is the world's 
most beautiful suspension bridge,
five miles long and five lanes wide.
In bridges, in life, in love.
(photo by Jeanette Swanson Dyer)
A gentle Michigan wind
dances over the farmer's yard,
giving me pause as I climb 
high up into my Chevy truck
and balance this week's bounty -
beets, bacon, a bunch of kale -
on the passenger seat.
Soon my ears will sting,
my breath announce
the season's change,
but today barnyard birds
proclaim summer's plenty
and I would live nowhere 
but among these peninsulas.

(written after visiting Emma Acres Farm, on Waters Rd west of Ann Arbor)

Farm photos are courtesy of Emma Acres Farm. Do yourself a favor and follow them on Facebook. Farmer Mark’s posts are informative and fun. You can request to be on his email list to be kept informed of when he’s open to the public – usually Saturday or Sunday afternoon – and what he has available for sale. His offerings include pasture-raised meats and the best eggs in the world. In season, Emma Acres also offers ‘beyond organic’ vegetables.

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A New Poem Every Monday
(tho’ sometimes life gets in the way)

Joseph Neely, all rights to original material reserved