Archive for the Becky Plate Category

Autobiography of Kansas by Becky Plate

Posted in Becky Plate with tags on April 26, 2017 by Scot

I am Amelia Earhart,
married to Clyde Cessna, of course.
Our home is in the Flint Hills,
and my kitchen is the Oasis on the Plains.
I was educated at the Shawnee Indian Mission.
I stand tall, taller than most think, tall as the Osage, the Children of the Middle Waters.
I strike like tigers let loose from Fort Scott, free men fighting to stay that way.
My voice, when I shout, is the sound of the spillway at Tuttle Creek dam,
and when I sing, I am a young and conflicted Judy Garland.
When I whisper, I am the wind that never stops blowing o’er the breadbasket of America,
and the wheat sways and rolls at my command in great long peaceful waves on and on and on.
I am a railroad of Mexican steel and black tulips.
I am Brown vs Board of Education.
I am Sternberg’s dinosaurs,
and therefore, clearly more than 5,000 years old.
My beloved pets are Victor E. Tiger and Willie the Wildcat.
My cousins are Wheat Shockers and Jayhawkers.
These are my parents, Gus and Gussie Gorilla.
My step-brother is an Ichabod, stung by a Hornet just for being a terrible mascot.
What the hell is an Ichabod anyway?
I am a field of sunflowers.
I am the annual traffic jam to get there,
totally worth it to get me in your profile picture.
My local flavor is that of a Cozy burger,
never mind the smell.
My PE teacher invented basketball,
and my president won the war.
I am gettin’ the heck out of Dodge with Wyatt and Bat.
I am Sporting.
I am going fast and turning left.
I am flying if I have to go all the way to Hutch.
I am drunk on elderberry wine.
I am the Big Red One.
I am the Big Top Pen.
I am the officer’s college.
I am the world’s largest ball of twine!
I will write your name in chalk from the Badlands.
I will sing you to sleep with the song of the Meadowlark
or hum you a few bars of Home on the Range.
Sing you to sleep under the stars,
and tomorrow, we will go there together.
We will go there, no matter what the difficulty.
I am all four seasons like I really mean it,
and sometimes all in one week.
I am not a cow town.
I am cattle country.
I am buffalo country.
I am the Tallgrass Prairie.
I am the Little Apple.
I am LFK, a blue dot floating in the red sea.
I am the start of a patina on the new copper of the Capitol Dome,
and I am all that transpired under the copper of the old one.
I am here waiting, hanging on the edge of a storm front,
waiting with the crazy eyes and wide open arms of John Brown,
waiting for the Freestaters to rise again.
I am a farmer.
I am an artist.
I am a teacher.
I am an engineer.
I am your mother.
I am the namesake of the city!
I am not just I-70 and I-35 and all that they intersect.
I am 24-40.
I am K99.
I am that spot on US-59, down in the valley between Richmond and Garnett,
when you drive over the Pottawatomie Creek Bridge,
where the radio loses the signal
always when you favorite song just gets to the hook.
And you, my dear friends,
you, driving through,
you, weary travelers,
you, welcome creatures,
you, fleeting inhabitants,
you are the song.