I said I’d move here

for two years-

no more than two years.

That was my limit.


My office

suggested a promotion

but said I had to relocate.



I was so sure

I’d move right back

that I considered

sub-letting my apartment

instead of ending the lease.


My friends all joked

that I was moving to Milwaukee

to become a cowboy.


That was fourteen years ago.


Before moving here

I thought this place

was a small town

and couldn’t wait

to get back to the city.


But the more time I spent



taking in my surroundings,

getting to know

the pace

the rhythm


the more I liked it here.



I drive 30 minutes to work

and when I go home

it’s only 30 minutes

Every Day, and


after I exit the freeway

I roll down my car windows

and smell pine trees

the entire way home.


I guess

it’s my version of

smelling the roses.

It’s so simple

but I’m able to do that every day.


Just half an hour from the city

I’m in the country

and I feel like I’m going home to vacation

because my log cabin

is surrounded by trees.



It’s funny…

I suppose my friends were right

and I did become

a bit

of a cowboy


but if I’d spent those two years worrying

how to get back into the big city

instead of exploring

where I was

I would never have found

my place to go home

and smell the roses



Ed Makowski is a poet/writer/artist/radio personality/gatherer of stories and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While working as Eddie Kilowatt…