She keeps her eye on the mud, the bruised
earth, a bite of terrain, the pavement
furrowing the prairie like a throat
choked on a rock. As tough, as mineral,
her belief that land returns to itself,
a surprise to everyone to see the soft arms
of a woman against a plow
here, again. On my porch, a purple finch
hugs the feeder, the cool metal hoop
as soft as a branch to the claw.
Feathers martyr the sidewalk.
Cover image by Mary Hammel