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Bone Flute and Other Poems

 R. Virgil Ellis

R. Virgil (Ron) Ellis retired from university teaching in 1997 and has since devoted his time to writing, editing, publishing, and performance, finding time also to work with his wife Shirley to restore their land to native habitat. He has published steadily over many years. A Wisconsin native, Ron holds advanced degrees in literature and media studies from Cornell University and the Union Institute. In 2001 he joined Rosebud magazine, serving first as poetry editor, and currently as associate editor, art director, and Web author. Currently he is concentrating on shaping books and electronic media of his poetry and performances.

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Excerpt

Are We There Yet?

you’d say, tired of our prompting
to see the world as you should:
train-thunder as we go under a trestle,
smiling face painted on a barn.

You’d even get bored looking for signs
that had the rare q, x, or z.
Are we there yet?
So we gave up telling you the miles

and just said, we’re closer, getting closer,
whenever you asked, so
you made it into a chant:
closer, closer, closer,

until, turning onto our road,
we joined in, and then
we all rocked in our seats,
making the old car bounce and sway,

closer, closer, closer.