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Land of Beginnings

Text of Poem

The door you once closed lets you slip through
back on the way from where you have come
to feel the soft earth of the land you plowed
(kneel, old believer) between finger and thumb.

Here corner posts marked the farm’s boundary lines.
I push one and feel it move, loose with decay
like a worn rotten tooth, the fence wires stripped off,
to merge field into field, the fashion today.

Scarcely a foot of this ground hasn’t been
under your foot and your team and machines,
where you ended the days of labor and sweat
and learned the hard lessons a harvest means.

You find your hand shakes as it pulls up a weed,
in your land of beginnings. When all’s done and said
if it still seems like home you may as well stay,
so plow yourself a furrow and plow yourself a bed.

First Line
The door you once closed lets you slip through
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Snake in the Strawberries (1979) 3.
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