Already, he has worked like this for hours,
                 moving his scythe beneath the gold horizon.

There’s stillness here. There is the swirl
        of wheat, both what’s been cut and what remains

standing, and the blade not so different
     from a bayonet, a useful edge that’s made of steel—

although it’s best to forget everything
                        except the green and yellow glimmering,

brushstrokes of orange deeper in the field.
              What little speckling of red there is, is at the root.

Mostly there’s sky, a shade of blue
     that might be called his daughter’s eyes, or the blue

of a broken shell he once found tumbled from a nest.
                                  There’s the sweat that leaves a shadow

on his shirt and his uniform coat thrown far
                         to the corner of the frame and the shape

of his old canteen. Later, he will lift the dark
        metal to his mouth and drink, until he barely tastes

the dust. He’ll keep his gaze directed at the dirt,
                      behind him, the labors of the day laid flat,

and the grain giving way before him, falling
               no heavier than light against the ground.

Jehanne Dubrow

Jehanne is the author of seven poetry collections, as well as a book of creative nonfiction. An eighth poetry collection, Simple Machines, won the Richard Wilbur Award and will be published in 2020. Her ninth book of poems, Wild Kingdom, is forthcoming from LSU Press in 2021. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Southern Review, New England Review, and Pleiades, among others. Her poetry collection Stateside was previously reviewed in Consequence. She is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Texas.

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