Oct/Nov 2009 Poetry


by Jan Seale

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


If a poem is a field
with row on row of words,
some already gone to seed
when you visit of a morning,
some in a low place yellowed
with clichés of water or salt,
others ravaged by a local plague—
already said, thought, farmed out—
Still, there may be a ripeness,
a harvest waiting, plump and full,
rows you lift high your legs for,
stepping across full bolls
or red juice in a ball, or hidden roots,
or the dashes of beans against a
blackbirded sorghum.
Though a jackrabbit startles,
there's weevil and borer evidence,
and you knew right off one oughtn't
to try walking a field this big,
the sun bearing down,
any number of snakes,
stride too short for the
beckoning rhythm of the lines,
Still, you did it, you did it,
and finally you're standing,
looking back, hands on hips,
in this southeast corner of the poem.


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