Blood on the saddle,
sky black, Hell red 
here on the prairie.

Blood in your eye, this night
goes on and on.  Dark light blazes up

 in purgatorial orange. 
Tonight you’ll live through another blizzard.
The hardest part is knowing 
you’ll survive.

Cold deepens in
black wildflowers and wild
purple grass.

Blood meridian.  At dawn
your world will fall further 
into dark.  At dawn

hailstones fly—

Your dream speaks with mouths 
of dead flowers.  Come home, 
they say, come back
to unending cold,
and ghosts

along icy trails . . . your eyes watching 

from the bad dream they were born into.  
This home

where you’ll meet yourself
as you once were, 
and will be

alone on the prairie.


Alexander Etheridge has poems featured in The Potomac Review, Scissors and Spackle, Ink Sac, Cerasus Journal, The Cafe Review, and many others.  He was the winner of the Struck Match Poetry Prize in 1999, and a finalist for the Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize in 2022.  He is the author of two forthcoming collections, Snowfire and Home, and, God Said Fire