The woman at the sales conference dreams of sturgeon

She’s in the back row,

rays of moted sunlight in this room

distract her from her work.



At the head table, words, sales figures, facts, selling points

flutter like ash from a housefire,

urgent, bright, smoky—flecks catch on the surface

of the river of opening remarks,

spiral on eddies beneath the product table.



A trout’s jumped over in coffee and rolls,

crabs click on the fruit trays,

goldfinches flit in the chandeliers.

A frog in the breast pocket of the CEO’s suit

leaps to fly-swarmed fact sheets and catalogs.



On the opposite shore, where carpet spreads like grass

beneath cedar-ratcheted bluffs,

she lounges, blue sky flashes off the back of her eye.

She sighs; her breath smells of rain on pines,

she feels cool river sand between her toes.



Sturgeon poke weary eyes out of the sand

at the end of shrouded folding tables.

When the fish move, reeds wave bony fingers at the clouds;

cottonwoods rattle in the wind.


Published by

Patrick Dobson

Patrick Dobson was founded in 1962. He is a writer, scholar, ironworker, and poet who lives in Kansas City, MO. He is author of two books with the University of Nebraska Press, Seldom Seen: A Journey into the Great Plains (2009) and Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer (May 2015). Dobson is a work in progress until termination.

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