Richard Shindell

One Man's Arkansas

from Not Far Now

I know this view so well, he said
The field, that line of trees
The way the sun burns orange-red
On days as clear as these
So close you'd swear it might ignite
That oak there on the hill
And even though it never does
Someday, I know it will

Each man keeping to himself
Just what he thought he saw
They sat in silence looking out
At one man's Arkansas

The stranger shifted in his chair
And cleared his throat to speak
"I think our offer's more than fair
Shall I call this time next week?"
Just then, as if they'd heard enough
Or as if they'd heard a gun
A flock of sparrows rose and flew
Away into the sun


There are houses in the valley now
And newly planted trees
Sod green lawns and swimming pools
Children in the streets
Zero down was just the trick
To fill the place right up
And the backend keeps'em on the farm
Right out to Kingdom Come


updated: 10 years ago