Today's poem is by Lorna Knowles Blake

King Sugar

Sugar cane harvest:
an arc of machetes
scythes down,
decapitated stalks
fall like soldiers crossed
on the fields. The smell
rises in the heat, so sweet
the air itself sickens.

The cañaveral is full
of spiders and armies
of men in straw hats,
shaded faces, backs
burnished to mahogany,
advancing like a wave
in an unbroken rhythm
over the fields of cane.

Later carts of cane
are refined into sugar
and fire ripples over
the stubble of roots,
incinerating the land,
leaving a wake of black
remnants glowing
in the cremated fields.

Clouds of black ash
drift over the town.
We dust and clean,
black snow keeps falling.
Dust and clean and dust—
It's positively biblical,
you say, the burning fields,
ash falling like a plague

or a sign to remind us
how we burn for that pure
white sweetness at the core.

Copyright © 2003 Lorna Knowles Blake All rights reserved
from Crab Orchard Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily

    Please support Verse Daily's very generous sponsors:
Sponsor Verse Daily!

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

Copyright © 2002, 2003 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved