Silver Queen – by DL Pravda

Silver Queen

One crystal ball dewdrop magnifies a corn leaf:
vertical grain skin: slick, sewn and hardy. Walking into

a field in July, plants poke me and look down on me
and laugh with the wind. Tillers and moles turn ground

to doubt, boots buried but satisfied. Thousands of acres
in tight rows: leaf vein pattern from a satellite.

The long view: centuries of crop generations woven
with fallow seasons and storms and reasons never known

or forgotten. Might be cotton next year or maybe
soybean. Maybe some faith for rain unseen.

Might be the end, still in the middle of a humid morning
and the tractor humming and a lot of work to be done.

I split an ear and dig past the fleece to the soft seed:
this is why we bleed from cracking skin.

DL Pravda is not a farmer. Serving seven typewriters, nine guitars and a sandy camera, he tries to preserve the remains of nature and rurality. The winner of the 2019 Dogfish Head Prize for his book, Normal They Napalm the Cottonfields, Pravda’s poems have recently appeared in Kakalak, The Meadow, Poetry Quarterly and Poetry South, and his photography in Streetlight Magazine. DL Pravda is not a farmer yet.

Art: “Underneath” by Sandy Coomer - 6X6, acrylic pour on claybord
Statement: These are the colors of farm and field, crops and harvest. I see rich earth and vibrant plants. I see hope and luck and hard work, both bitter and tender.