THE GARDEN SPOT
That patch of land beside the road,
below the old barn, is Kendrick land—
those terraces thrown up by a Kendrick man,
long lost the art of nine up, three down,
moving dirt by plow,
gone the cotton boll and wagon road.
All that’s left is hayland, cut by another,
and vegetables, worked and watered.
I wonder what the sight of it all
(the ground as hard as the fact of drought,
the corn so pitiful
and tasseled out at two-feet tall)
means for him who hasn’t seen
drought, flood, weevil, and wrath of God,
and if his corn is cause for doubt.
THE BLACKBERRY ROWS
The men and women of the blackberry rows
work long: a long, long way from somewhere.
Some still have shirts draped over head, though
the moon is kinder than the sun, kinder but queer,
people picking blackberries at night, ghosts
flowing in and out of flood lights, fingers
stained from blood or blackberries or both,
(those are no thornless canes, I assure you)
with no sound but the electric hum
of generated light and the loud silence
of men and women a long, long way from home.