A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
Her hands are as strong as mine.
She says, these folks
don’t have any common sense.
And I don’t mean how to count eggs.
I mean, look out there.
I can tell by the rain
just when that band of trees
will go green. And look,
you can see just a bit of red
in the tops of those maples.
But they make it hard, you know.
They come out and tell me
I can’t plant right there because it’s wetlands.
These guys in their suits and ties.
Sit in front of a computer all day.
Their rules don’t work out here.
Seems like they’d know to ask first.
I was planting there before they noticed
it was wetlands.
It takes one hundred nine days for cauliflower
to get ripe. It’s warmer to the south
and things get ripe sooner down there
but the stores around here know
just when my crop comes in.
That’s good because cauliflower too long in the sun
gets brown spots, but you know what they do,
the stores. They start
selling two for the price of one so that cuts my profits.
They don’t know. They don’t have a clue.
These guys in their ties.
It seems like they think up
something new each day to make it hard for me.
For us. I can
either sell out to the big growers
or go small. But I can’t keep up
a farm like this on what I make.
And these kids. These kids sit around
punching their phones.
I don’t know if I can get one knows how to fix that roof.
But the Army, they like video games.
It makes for good snipers, fighter pilots, tank gunners.
They get the electronics down.
But they don’t know anything else.
You know it makes me sad.
What are you doing on my land anyhow?
Is that your car?
My dogs like you so I guess you’re all right.
What are you going to do with those pictures, anyhow?
I’m glad you love farms.
Glad somebody does because
I just can’t see anything good coming up for us.
Out here trying to get by.
Trying to keep something precious those men
don’t understand. They don’t know enough
to miss it when it’s gone
but I’ll bet something I grow. Something
I’m all tender with.
Something I give my love to
will taste better than what those big growers
plant in their greenhouses.
It just has to be.
There’s something to watching the light shift.
Picking something up on the wind.
Something about breathing right along with everything
that makes a soul.
You know we don’t come with souls.
We grow them if we let things touch us all the way down.
Let us wrestle with the angel.
I know this is true.
I don’t care what they think.
Copyright 2017 Doug Anderson
Photo by Doug Anderson