A Red Palm


You're in this dream of cotton plants. You raise a hoe, swing, and the first weeds Fall with a sigh. You take another step, Chop, and the sigh comes again, Until you yourself are breathing that way With each step, a sigh that will follow you into town. That's hours later. The sun is a red blister Coming up in your palm. Your back is strong, Young, not yet the broken chair In an abandoned school of dry spiders. Dust settles on your forehead, dirt Smiles under each fingernail. You chop, step, and by the end of the first row, You can buy one splendid fish for wife And three sons. Another row, another fish, Until you have enough and move on to milk, Bread, meat. Ten hours and the cupboards creak. You can rest in the back yard under a tree. Your hands twitch on your lap, Not unlike the fish on a pier or the bottom Of a boat. You drink iced tea. The minutes jerk Like flies. It's dusk, now night, And the lights in your home are on. That costs money, yellow light In the kitchen. That's thirty steps, You say to your hands, Now shaped into binoculars. You could raise them to your eyes: You were a fool in school, now look at you. You're a giant among cotton plants. Now you see your oldest boy, also running. Papa, he says, it's time to come in. You pull him into your lap And ask, What's forty times nine? He knows as well as you, and you smile. The wind makes peace with the trees, The stars strike themselves in the dark. You get up and walk with the sigh of cotton plants. You go to sleep with a red sun on your palm, The sore light you see when you first stir in bed.


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sergey May 20, 2013 at 7:45am

This is awful and robratterman sucks!

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robert-bobert May 21, 2013 at 3:10am

Yeah, this guy is just nuts!

robratterman May 21, 2013 at 3:12am

YOU BOTH ARE FIRED!!!

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