barren badlands in South Dakota

The flutter of paper thin eyelids,
                    butterflies    ^
                                                            as

the dry rattle, the absence of a pulse.
                        ^                     ^
                      snake              ,

She planted lilac and larkspur to dull the pain.
                        sage        winecup     ^         sun
                                                           eat

The prairie is as barren as dreams.
         desert            lush

EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected from entries submitted to our Creative Challenge Series #13: First Sentences, which required that the first sentence in the text must be used as given. Or in this case, quite cleverly, perhaps not. Read other Creative Challenge winners. To find out how to participate, go to Creative Challenges.