Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thomas Lux

- thank you, Jay...

The Hungry Gap-Time, by Thomas Lux

late August, before the harvest, every one of us worn down
by the plow, the hoe, rake,
and worry over rain.

Chicken Coop confiscated
by the rats and the raptors
with nary a mouse to hunt. The corn's too green and hard,
and the larder's down
to dried apples
and double-corned cod. We lie on our backs
and stare at the blue;
our work is done, our bellies flat.
The mold on the wheat killed hardly a sheaf.
The lambs fatten on the grass, our pigs we set
to forage on their own-they'll be back
when they whiff the first shucked ears
of corn. Albert's counting
bushels in his head
to see if there's enough to ask Harriet's father
for her hand. Harriet's father
is thinking about Harriet's mother's bread
pudding. The boys and girls
splash in the creek,
which is low but cold. Soon, soon
there will be food
again, and from what our hands have done
we shall live another year here
by the river
in the valley
above the fault line
beneath the mountain

"The Hungry Gap-Time," by Thomas Lux from God Particles: Poems. © Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

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