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Poppy Field

by Mary Buchinger

Gustav Klimt, Oil on Canvas

A dizzy of red strums the green and yellow meadow
unrolling like a loaded exhale—
the blowsy breath of a mob of flowers.

Trees hung with apricots wait for ladders and baskets,
suggest a sustenance in this painted world
starred by gold-hearted daisies flung open at canvas edge.

Someone pruned the spherical trees
and mowed the carpet beneath the slender trunks.
Someone will come for the glowing apricots.

In the far distance, rising from the spattered field,
three tall trees cross a ribbed, skim-milk sky,
the middle tree, severely bitten—

Christ and the robbers.
Christ and the robbers.
What human landscape is possible without fruit and robbers?


Mary Buchinger is the author of Aerialist (Gold Wake, 2015) and Roomful of Sparrows (Finishing Line, 2008). Her poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, Nimrod, PANK, Salamander, The Cortland Review, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. She is associate professor of English and Communication Studies at MCPHS University in Boston.

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