Each prairie farm holds the tale—
some child saved by the rope
anchoring house to barn,
or legend of the scofflaw
neighbor lost, not found ’til Spring,
too self-assured to fix a loosened end.
           Stretched through utter white, that line is life.

On this plateau of shaped terrain
of gentle slopes and trees
we carry on without a rope.
When, baffled by white of winter storm,
black of moon-free night,
groggy grey of sleep delayed,
I happen upon the fence
that brain-map etched by scores
of trips along this way
brings me home.

Still, clambering from the drift,
wet and cold, short one boot,
          I long for a sure connection