Easy is the way
but quiet the meaning.
My neighbor will not sell me quiet.
I can buy that only from the land,
only from the maple and the nesting sparrow.
Only from the ant carving a tiny tunnel at my feet.
I tell my neighbor, Sometimes a field is just a field.
But he doesn’t believe me.
What are you doing? Looking out.
What for? To see.
To see what? Whatever I can.
What can you see? Nothing now.
What about now? Still nothing.
What about then? Then I saw you and me and the land.
What were we doing? We were waiting.
Waiting for what? Now.
My grandmother laments.
This was some of the richest
farmland in the country.
Soil black as the stallion’s back
and just as deep. But she’s coughed up
her last crop now. And sits
as a circle, the cars working
her contours, the city pipes
standing pregnant with water,
ready to scream,
ready to go hot or cold
at the first sign of drought.