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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 13: May 2022
Poem: 89 words
By Jason Ryberg

Still Holding

The world is a big, 
Andrew Wyeth painting this 
morning, through the bay 

window in the main 
room of my friend’s house, here in 
Missouri, over-

looking this winding 
two-lane highway and the deep 
bowl of the valley 

on the other side, 
with perfectly placed house and 
barn and various 

appropriate farm 
implements of one kind or 
another, scattered 

about, here and there, 
on the gradual rise of 
the opposing hill, 

where a few spindly 
old trees still hold the high ground 
after all this time. 




Poem was inspired by paintings by Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) in the book Wyeth at Kuerners by his wife, Betsy J. Wyeth (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976); in particular, Farm Pond (1957), Heavy Snow (1967), and The Corner (1953).

The title of the book refers to the Kuerner Farm, now a National Historic Landmark, in Andrew Wyeth’s home town of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Over a period of 70 years, the farm inspired hundreds of his paintings, watercolors, and drawings (source: Brandywine River Museum of Art).

Jason Ryberg
Issue 13, May 2022

is the author of fourteen books of poetry; six screenplays; a few short stories; a box full of folders, notebooks, and scraps of paper that could one day be (loosely) construed as a novel; and a couple of angry letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection of poems, Are You Sure Kerouac Done It This Way!? (co-authored with John Dorsey, and Victor Clevenger), was published by AC Books in 2021.

Ryberg lives part-time in Kansas City, Missouri with a rooster named Little Red and a billygoat named Giuseppe, and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters.

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