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I Became Ohio Country

12 April, 2021

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I Became Ohio Country

By Tim Richards
— COVID-19
 constant quarantine / social separation
April 6, 2020
While I rode its winding ways,
I became Ohio country
Early, one Spring afternoon.
Faded paint on old farm houses,
Age-worn buildings falling down,
Complement red barns that lean.
The lengthy painted yellow line
That disappears atop each hill
Divides the asphalt two-lane roadway,
Then reappears before me
As I crest above each hill.
The posted county road signs  
Direct me past the furrowed fields
Of cropless lands that stretch between
The stands of Winter’s leafless trees, 
Where fallen timber lies beneath 
Their bending boughs o’er matted leaves 
That pad the wooded farmland floor.
"I Became Ohio Country" by Tim Richards from Common Threads 2020. Ed. Steve Abbott. Ohio Poetry Association Press. 2020. Used by permission of the author. 

Tim Richards is the author of five books: The Richards and Barry Families; Ship Happens! A Tiger Cruise Tale; Warm Water, A Collection of Memories; Buggy, A Fictional Account of Generational Family Abuse; and Afternoon Tomatoes, Accessible Poetry, a collection of reader-friendly, easy to read poems. His poetry has appeared in Common Threads (Ohio Poetry Association), and Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology, and his prose, poetry and photography have been published in Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review. Richards is an active speaker, reciting the spoken word in the Cleveland area, and has appeared as a featured speaker several times. He is currently writing a novel titled Tony Bugno.

Write a Poem

Draft a poem about the passage of time through a personal means of measuring it: a grandparent’s face, a childhood neighborhood, a garden or house. Go back to your draft and cut any clich├ęs that crept in.
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READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.