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Text of Poem

No one who lives here
knows how to tell the stranger
what it’s like, the land I mean,
farms all gently rolling,
squared off by roads and fences,
creased by streams, stubbled with groves,
a land not known by mountain’s height
or tides of either ocean,
a land in its working clothes,
sweaty with dew, thick-skinned loam,
a match for the men who work it,
breathes dust and pollen, wears furrows
and meadows, endures drought and flood.
Muscles swell and bulge in horizons
of corn, lakes of purple alfalfa,
a land drunk on spring promises,
half-crazed with growth—I can no more
tell the secrets of its dark depths
than I can count the banners in a
farmer’s eye at spring planting.

First Line
No one who lives here
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Shaken by Leaf-Fall. Ann Arbor, MI: Kylix Press. 1976. 45.
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In Jim's top ten Hearst poems.