Today's poem is by Tracy K. Smith

Western Fragment

And I said:

We were tired of dry spells, the whole town
Knee-deep in drought. When air stirred,
Only bone responded—that empty clack
And rattle of a body hungry for some peace.

We girls took to wearing dresses. Flowered
Dresses that pointed where the wind went.
Bore witness. Sucked parsley. Stroked
Ourselves, thinking leather, like lovers

Of some drowned outlaw. We'd wake
Wishing for something slow down the throat,
Like mules hitched always to the same spot,
Hooves wearing their groove into plank.

And you said:

The crossing was too narrow.
By the time we watered the cattle
Most of them were half dead.
We were, too, but we didn't show it.
That's not what men do.

We pitched our tents, tied.
The herd, ate what we could kill.
A man doesn't have time to think
About a woman when the sky's
That vast, that bright and near.

When a man's on his horse,
And the sun's behind his back,
If the cattle are contented.
Then he might think about
A woman, women.

Copyright © 2007 Tracy K. Smith All rights reserved
from Redivider
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved