Montana Wheat Field
half a yardstick high,
grasshoppers spring into my cupped hands,
Dad counts heads of hail-damaged stalks.
rattler, rattler, rattler,
clicks like tap shoes on a car roof,
polished agate eyes,
a coiled hemp hose braided with diamonds,
tail like Salome's hips.
An angel of a snake.
I think of frogs moving through the snake's belly,
dissolving like bar soap in wet fingers,
first the leaf-green skin,
then flaky white flesh that tastes like chicken,
then putrid yellow lungs, burping air,
last the lace-white bones.
Dad grabs a broken shovel,
slicing head from eight-foot body,
brown and yellow kaleidoscope:
the hard earth,
Dad's khaki pants and straw hat,
the linen colored wheat and dust on my shoes,
the broken handle of the shovel,
dried mud on the