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The World in Present Tense
A Collection of Contemporary Poetry @ The Other Pages   http://theotherpages.org/universe/


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Fallow Field
    The old car is there,
    where she left it,
    out by the old shed,
    breeding rust
    obscured
    from the roadway by the rye grass
    that grows up all around.
    Long triangular tentacles
    blowing and bending
    in the hot breeze, as
    sunlight filters in
    through gathering clouds.
    By now the grass has worked
    up into the engine block.
    The car, was it an old
    Chevrolet or Buick?
    No matter, it's all
    that is planted now,
    in this fallow field,
    awaiting bulldozers.
    They call this grass
    "poverty grain," and there's
    no small comfort in the fact
    that it's as tolerant
    of poor soils
    as she was of the poor soils
    of her marriage.
    On the day she left,
    she packed her whole life
    into an old grip: clothing,
    a few framed photographs
    of the children, her parents,
    the salt cellar she'd bought
    on her honeymoon in Rome.
    While packing, she'd given
    pause that her whole life
    had become so neatly compact,
    portable, where once there'd
    been permanence. And now,
    she blows and bends
    with the rye grass
    on a midsummer afternoon,
    so far from home,
    so far from the old shed
    of her former self.

       Scott Edward Anderson, © 1995
 
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