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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.

Published in Janice N. Harrington Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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