Jan/Feb 2015 Poetry

A Day on the Farm

by Joel Fry

Image courtesty of the British Library's Photostream

A Day on the Farm

A tall shade tree carries the world in its roots.
We sit in its shadow, far from the daily route
of panic and the world that speaks with the
insistence of a steam cleaner. I divide
my allegiance to myself and give you half.
Neither of us comprehends the old tree that
ends and begins our conversations, that harbors
birds too high to see, whose songs barely
filter down to us. There is peace here I have
been missing my whole life, that my friends do
not miss, but they all miss the green summers
I notice, the groves of trees I possess
with a smile, which is most of who I am.
You say this day is ending the way it
always ends. The mockingbirds stop their
chanting and fly away. You tell me this
is the way it must be. I listen to you as if
listening to myself. Line for line your voice
dies where mine begins. No one ever tells me
I interrupt you as I reach beyond myself
into you, into a verdant spring
that calls us beyond words or thoughts,
within words and thoughts, those mercies
that become our own living land no one else


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