El Misionero and The Wayward 

Two poems by Stephen Page published a while back in Renovation Journal, edited by Kate Hanson Foster.
#poetry #renovationJournal #stephenPage #KateHansonfoster Bennington Poets Bennington College Alumni Bennington College Master of Fine Arts in Writing Bennington Writers

El Misionero

by Stephen Page
On the patio, the cat waits,

meows, waits. She only comes when

the architects are not reconstructing

the Red House that the Tattler thought

was for him. The Blonde Collie Bitch

lies in heat upon the lawn. She hides

from that Black Bastard Sunday.

The Capataz house is empty,

and cold. It no longer electrifies

the fence that separates the Bulls

from the Cows. The Excuse Maker

has returned and partially corrupted

El Misionero, who with his blue

poncho to fend off cold, walks through

the predawn dew in quest of the horse

that can be ridden but is not broke.
El Misionero counts cows and gives

change. His river-black hair and brown

eyes lure the cows to calve and

the Palomino to pony. He must vacate

the Transit House and live

in the Central Home without lights.

The Wayward

by Stephen Page

Cows spilled out onto a moonless road,

and the white truck parked itself in front

of your home. Your scarlet jacket drapes

its seat. The tractor would not move and dug

itself deeper into mud. Fence posts raced

a thousand meters, then walked back, losing

line. The coffeed nightmares night not rain

but pen unplanned plans on paper. My saddle you

horse and barbwire yours, the nails unstucking

crude leather. My salty lasso you snapped

in two, cat-o-nining your shoulders and

back. The leather rack must be lifted

to shade, its sunned stench

olfactoring office windows. Electrify

lot sixteen, and fatten uncorned cows.

Lot ten’s drainage ditch caves in

both sides of the road and snakes

to replicate unwooded cement worm

tubes. Cereal Man pushed our combined

road further onto my property,

and while you slept, I went

wading into the wheat, searching

for the cow.

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