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April 15, 2024

Farm Road Entropy

By Julian O. Long

Farm Road Entropy

South of Fuquay
you remembered
cotton on the Caprock --
giant wagons lean and slippage,
farm roads whited with their excess
kin, you think, to flat detritus
slapped green on rotting pavements
out of flatfoot buckboards.

Harvest and waste of passage:
bolls un-ginned, bright leaf uncured,
and in their midst a symbol --
as a woman walked away down
chaff tobacco, her slow scuff and
shuffle tired seeming, shoes heelless,
almost without soles.

On her hip a paper sack, groceries,
you thought, torn corner dripping corn
meal, steady stream all down the road:
and there it was, kingdom of heaven
as figured by Judas Thomas' Jesus,
kingdom of heaven like that.

You stopped to offer a lift,
tell her of her loss; both offers
refused. Last you saw she turned
down a dirt side road, sack
still leaking, suspicious perhaps
of your whiteness or your car
and sunglasses.

For years you thought
you might have told her something.
Now with roles reversed, she
timeless in memory, you understand
what she told you -- what else
but that the offer is refused.

What else, but that it all runs out.

Article © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-07-19
2 Reader Comments
Pamela Sumners
12:02:49 PM
07:55:52 PM
Interesting and poignant
A path I can picture.
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