One Mile South
Posted on April 18th, 2013
The chickens rise with the sun
but do not venture into the uniform white –
there is no more earth to scratch.
The farmer’s breath is taken with the violent
gust wrapping its arms around her, into her.
Matted hair and flushed cheeks
her face weeps without sadness.
Or for the brilliance of the day:
the muted voice of the land
the afterthought of a tree on the horizon,
weeping, too, against the north wind.
As darkness befalls the hill
snow-cover lightens the early dusk.
Nebulae wink from a perfect crest
above the barn
to halt even the most self-absorbed.
A moment too long in the cold
just to look on beyond the boots
and the frozen muck, up to the Greater.
Bighting, writhing frigidity
(there aren’t enough words to describe)
eats through layers
of wool and other fiber
to find its way up her belly and down her neck.
The farmer must smash the goat’s ice bucket
with a hammer just to be lashed
by the shrieking water beneath.
Every day twice a day
she breaks the ice but the hole
A lone wood stove burns through these dark nights
the embers glow long
in the farmer’s blush.