Farmer’s Pose

by Christopher Raley


It’s the farmer’s pose, the self-enclosed hug

of the self-contained man.  Hands grasp elbows

eyes look to earth and lips roll over a purse.

I look instinctively for the grass stem.


He wears the stance well, not as practice

but as performance.  One hand reaches round

and hooks jeans’ back pocket while the other

clutches something metal to brace against.


I don’t doubt there are men still who can read

earth and sky, river, tree, and horizon,

nor that he might yet be such a man

should cloud cast shadow over his furrows.


But if it did he would think of color not light

and laugh into the collar of his flannel.

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