They’ve axed the forests, plowed the meadows,
sown and sewed it up, task forces of tiny fingers
and hired hands are pruning back the cornflowers
that clamber and clamor for tenderness of sun
and water, for sympathetic looks without the help
of generations that celebrate the mother figure,
her lavish hips and license to give birth so
she need not fight any more, as she stands
in triumph among us, those who keep meat
on the menu, the love distilled in a spike
of wheat as the final measure of creation,
maybe even grace locked in a swollen grain.
Why would I lie to you? A harvest rots
right there on the ground, nobody feels like
carting it away. We prefer to fondle
the shiny blades and tears on the tips that
recall the etchings of provincial manors,
lost in the roiling mercury sea that stretches
across half the continent; stalks trickle out
of the baskets, leading from famished memory
should we let it drop. The competition between gain
and taste is ceaseless, and beauty falls by the wayside,
like a deserter who ducks the radar to prosper again,
multiplied a hundredfold, at the head of a huge
army that has laid its weapons down, and knees
bent enters the service of a goddess, pregnant
all the time, whose livelihood is gift and suffering.
Copyright © Persea Books 2011
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.