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.