Thomas Hart Benton Shows Me Where to Stand at the Edge of the Field
Notice, first, the cut down ones,
The broken shaft, supplicant head bent,
Abundant bundles waving gold,
The sun behind bakes repeating lines,
Careful harvest cutting lines in the field.
Notice, then, the green sprouting wild,
Interruption weaving from the shadow.
Then, the uneven heads of them.
Then, the ominous lean of them.
Even tight cuts of the shorn ones.
Rows already down, and carried away.
Consider, finally, breaking bread alone,
Later, in the car or the museum café,
The implication of bread. From what angle
Might we see the man, just out of frame?
& whose hands cut them down? & where
The mill which churned them? The absent
hand palming and hallow, kneading?
Sara Judy is from the prairie. She is currently an English PhD and poetry MFA student at the University of Notre Dame, where she studies twentieth and twenty-first century poetry and poetics. Her creative work has recently appeared in Proximity Magazine, The Midwest Review, and Bluestem. Sara also serves as an assistant book editor for Religion & Literature, and as an editorial assistant for the Notre Dame Review.
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