Blue Boat

Blue Flannel

Dana Yost

A fragment of a blue flannel shirt,
wind-frayed and snagged, hangs
in the branches of a red maple.
It’s not mine—the shirt. But I pass
it each day on my walk. 
So I claim it as a mental possession,
like a tick mark on a list of things
that tracks where I am in my day.

I need these things,
these talismans.
Otherwise my days
spin without catching
like a broken roulette wheel:
no risk,
but also no purpose.

Dana Yost was a state and national award-winning daily newspaper editor and writer for 29 years. Since 2008, he has authored five books and two chapbooks, and had poems published in numerous magazines and literary journals. His latest book is Journal of a Midwestern Town, Story of an Era, (Ellis Press) a large history and study of life in the rural Midwest in the 1940s era.

A graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University, he has lived in rural Minnesota and Iowa his entire life, currently in Morris, Minnesota. More information can be found at his website: danayostwriter.wordpress.com.