The Gertrude Munzenmaier Prize
The Man with the Plow
is obsessed with the soil, making turnips.
His talent overwhelms me, my work isn’t important
because of him. He moves on instinct, exposes
useless bean shoots, plows them under
to make room for new. He’s tender with lettuce,
doesn’t hear his new wife call breakfast.
I grow excited over the thought of carrots
for everyone on Cope Creek. Together
we'd set up a stand, advertise in The Sylva Herald,
rent a booth at the farmers’ market, perhaps.
I remove my plaid shirt and wave it for a flag,
wishing to share these plans. He breaks clods,
frees slugs, sweats in the noonday sun. Stones
turn slow. Frantic, I shout from my perch on the hill:
I remember when you groomed your cat with a silver comb !
The man with the plow gives me no attention.
I think he has no nightmares in the daytime.