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Archive for Sunday, June 27, 2004

Poet’s showcase

June 27, 2004

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Summerfallow
By Barbara Seaman

Here and there, bone stalks
stick up
like raised hands
in a classroom gone dormant,
waiting for permission
to ask a question.

Someone laid the wheat field
face down,
though underground,
in the dark,
the exhausted earth
goes on harvesting remains.

Shattered heads and wild feces
fester among moldy strings
of bindweed
and dirty-blond straw,
hot fertile rot,
burning for answers.

Why this season?
Why this field and not another?
How much longer?
Or will the yield return?
Ever taciturn,
God and the farmer aren't telling.

While a field lies fallow,
who can say if the scene means
rest or rust?
Not the sparrow
clutching a crumbled clod,
waiting in her wings.

-- Barbara Seaman is a writer living in Lawrence.

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