Am I the Midwest

Am I the Midwest
The one we read about
The one they send the reporters to cross the state borders
Just to figure the people out

Am I the Midwest
The one we sing about
All pockmarked with Dairy Queens, state football dreams
And university towns

Am I the Midwest
The one we blame
The one we castigate
The one we shame
The one that shows up
On time at eight
The one we love
The one we hate

Am I the Midwest
The one they photograph
After Delphi leaves and the workers grieving
Become another think piece

Am I the Midwest
The one they interview
On the radio stations in the European nations
Where Americana still feels new

Am I the Midwest
The one that blames
The one that speaks up
Two years too late

The one that shows up
On election day
The one that votes
The one that hates

Am I the Midwest
The plain-spoken grout between the coasts
Am I the Midwest
Home of miniature golf and self-conscious boasts
Am I the Midwest
Home of jersey cows in stallion shoes
Am I the Midwest
The one in the news