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Shaking the Grass

Evening, and all my ghosts come back to me

like red banty hens to catalpa limbs

and chicken-wired hutches, clucking, clucking,

and falling, at last, into their head-under-wing sleep.

I think about the field of grass I lay in once,

between Omaha and Lincoln. It was summer, I think.

The air smelled green, and wands of windy green, a-sway,

a-sway, swayed over me. I lay on green sod

like a prairie snake letting the sun warm me.

What does a girl think about alone

in a field of grass, beneath a sky as bright

as an Easter dress, beneath a green wind?

Maybe I have not shaken the grass.

All is vanity.

Maybe I never rose from that green field.

All is vanity.

Maybe I did no more than swallow deep, deep breaths

and spill them out into story: all is vanity.

Maybe I listened to the wind sighing and shivered,

spinning, awhirl amidst the bluestem

and green lashes: O my beloved! O my beloved!

I lay in a field of grass once, and then went on.

Even the hollow my body made is gone.

from Even the Hollow My Body Made Is GoneFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2007
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

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