You can smell wild plums long before you get there,
April breezes trickling the scent
over grassy hilltops, teasing your nose
with promises of jelly on warm bread in October.
The thicket in the hollow remembers many gatherings,
snuggled in the arm of the prairie creek chattering nearby.
Remembers skipping feet, clanking pails, bonnets,
the hollow running over with giggles.
Burke's Hollow, just off the river bottom
of the old Republican;
named for Burken Shauerholz, late of German,
come here from Milwaukee by team and wagon
with his young bride Marya,
whose laughter tantalized the wind.
Their eyes were full of bright dreams.
like the place in his chest when he laid
Marya and their babies
in the curved arm of the chattering creek;
covered them with popcorn blossoms
of a plum thicket spring.