February 16, 2011

The Secret of Red Gate Farm

is that it was not always red--
a history in each layer
of flaking, sun-burnt paint

each time a crop turned under,
an acre gone fallow.
Has the milk turned sour?

Has the embryo stayed
too long in the egg--a web

of bright pink ribbons
cradling the yolk--and the pumpkin
rotted on the vine? Before,

a scarecrow proudly raised
its flour-sack head above the rows.

Now a fever--a murder of crows--
the backfire of a harvester--

Now the farmhouse groans.
An empty belly. A rusty hinge.
Evidence of weasels in the barn.