By Winter

Field by Sheila Lamb

By Winter

Poem by Dominique Traverse-Locke
Artwork by Sheila Lamb

By late July,
the pastureland
glows golden. The hay is
belly-button high,
ready to be cut
and dried for a second time
this year.
Muddy pawed rabbits
tunnel underneath, sensing
the imminent harvest.

By mid-August,
the corn is tall and heavy with
plump shucks of milky kernels,
a trellis for half-runners,
blue lakes, and yellow wax beans.
Yesterday, the neighbor’s lost cow
stomped through the cucumbers
on her way to the cabbage.
Today, I hear the repairing
of locust posts.

I breathe deep and notice
the vines already withering,
the earth cracking dry.
I will be, by winter, fatherless.

-refers from the phrase “when blue is the color” in the poem Gray by Julie Ellinger Hunt

  1. beautiful, Dom! We made a great choice!

  2. Wonderfully crafted! The chill at the end is so very like the sudden awareness of an approaching winter.

  3. Wow! I loved the detail and the ending made me stop breathing! Thank you!

  4. Nicky Yurcaba

    As a young woman heavily involved in agriculture, who works as a part-time hand on a farm, I truly appreciate this poem. You give a beautiful description of the hay fields, which brings to mind, for me, the serenity of wandering through a field-sea prior to cutting. I love your line “by winter, I will be fatherless”. When winter comes and the field work is over for the season, I feel slightly out-of-sorts, horribly separated from the earth.

  5. Thank you all so very much for your kind words. Reading your comments has truly made my day!

  6. Alyson Lawyer

    So nice!

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