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Fallow

by Lucy Farber

When I first met him he said Look
and the fields were as brown as his navajo blanket
though not as soft as we would lie down
ready for plowing, being sown and tilled
the corn grew, sturdy little things
loving tornado weather, what I went through to get to him
years of planting, waist high weeds, four leaf clovers
I wore myself out with walking.

When he left I said I see
without him, acres of corn, sweet ears coming through the barbed wire
everywhere I went growing tunnels formed
closing down my vision for the harvest
and I could only look in straight lines, no place for obscurity
only more rows of bright green corn
it was easy to follow.

When he came back I said Look
and I took him in the leaves with me, the dead cornfield
everything disappeared, even him, his hair worn bland
from a long summer. Only the ears in their withered husks
hinked at a bright vulgarity and I though of how I would like to fall
to the ground in a swoon like dying, to the ground
where I would lie waiting for my colorless lover
who would open me like milkweed pods
finding how carefully I have arranged myself for this day
how patiently I have stored these seeds
for him, this desolate field, the winter.

 

Lucy Farber had a poem in the first issue of Antigone. (Fall 1974)


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