Johnny sure would love to getthe hell out of here, but whereon Earth could he go? Here beingpain in the legs and hipsfrom the wreck. Here being surgerybills that don't square with bankaccounts. Here is knowing the drunkwalked away unscathed. Here isthe torpor of this trailer behind
daddy's place. What separated mefrom Christ's love, he says? Troubleor hardship or persecutionor, or, or...
I am the voiceof one crying out in the wildernessand only one power has released mefrom this agony. Look at the trees,
he says. Look at the grasses, the river,the whitetail. See how alive, how high,how abundant.
If you fall asleepit'll grow right over your head. Tell mehow ruin and want endure in a placecapable of this much green? [End Page 91]
John Mark Ballenger lives with his wife and two children in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He grew up in rural southeastern Ohio, the northern edge of Appalachia. That landscape and people influence much of his writing and interests and imagination. John earned his MFA in poetry from Ashland University.