Sunrise, Without Trees

Kurt Heinzelman

Things grow old
so quickly
in the fields.

--Richard Jeffries,
Field & Hedgerow


Before long
it will be dawn
in Auroraville, Wisconsin.

Quiet as insects
the mares circle
and spread out

end to end,
a splayed green edge
of sweet corn

banking these
alfalfa fields.
Rising from rye grass

a few still to be
emptied cows traipse
slantwise before the sun.

Past the combine,
the honey wagon
still in shadow,

beyond the sway-backed
winter salt licks,
air assumes

an air of knowing
how long
and since when.

Morning
is an ageless girl,
hands warm with eggs,

and a voiceless
old man bearded
with his breath

strokes his glass
and rocks
a little harder.

In a world without
trees when the light
comes it stays, pulsing

as leaves would
if there were any
wind. The back

screendoor slams
louder than you
or I might suppose.

Birds are what he
looks for and,
neck craning

to listen--
there looks to be
birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

poem notes

listen to reading

loneliness of rural life

breaking up meter

the Aurora myth

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