Franklin Zawacki
Roadsiding Hay

It hardly matters what holds the load in place.
My days are spent crossing levees,
dodging trees.
Up one windrow and down the other.
The clanking chains convey the bales
to the top of the wobbling load
growing a tier higher with each pass.

Tonight the full moon tempts the field out
from under me.
Open full-throttle, I abandon all directions.
Straps of light slip from blue shoulders.
Rut holes catch me dreaming:
my knees go down in sand.
Each time I genuflect, my wires jar loose.
Fog spills from the culvert.
Prayers hold the stars in place.

I should have warned you:
when you hear me coming,
throw open the gates.
Once I've cleared the field,
I have no way to stop.

A breeze wraps me in a swath of cow's breath.
My wheels flatten as I float through space.
How happy I'd be transporting those stars across the sky.

_ _

"Roadsiding Hay" was awarded the 2014 Robert Frost Prize by judge Kathleen Aponick.

Franklin Zawacki studied writing in the graduate program at Brown; following graduation, he served as Rhode Island’s first Writer-in-Residence and taught poetry workshops to teachers and high school students. He now resides in San Francisco, and is determined to return to writing again after a long and complicated absence from it.

<< Back to Issue 17, 2014

Published by Pen and Anvil Press


ISSN 2150-6795
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