The Flooded Fields

 Even in heat of mid-summer
The river has breached its banks,
Inundating farmland for weeks….
Stagnant water rots the wheat,
Across the valley where the sun
Meets the western sky.
Smell of waste overtakes
Drifting winds where last year
Combines were heard tracking through
Golden fields, long lines against
Trees that mark the higher road.
There is no reaping now,
No thrashing sounds, the only yield
An absence visible on vacant eyes,
Dreams of profit turned to dust,
Months of hard work crushed,
Stalks of corn a distant island,
Soon washed below the waterline,
Unable to outlast the flood.
Even the silver moon wanes at night
 Gaunt and hungry among the silent stars….
I look across the field to the farmer,
But do not wave, only stand
Watching his lonely frame in silhouette,
Casting long shadows against fading light….
See him sadly shake his head;
 Dread moves across his face to mine….
In an instant, closes the distance
Between our staring eyes.
As he takes in the devastation in his heart,
Perhaps a muffled curse is heard?
Today, there are no hired lads,
No waving hands, no lemonade at noon,
No laughter tossed against heat of sun.
It is a form of death that sparkles
On the sodden ground,
Grim reaper in the fetid fields, slowly kills….
The farmer’s wife half-sick waiting
For river to recede, until hope,
Exhausted, is drowned in sleep.
Alone in the silent home
Where no one sees the gesture,
She crosses herself, prays for deliverance…
Though no one hears the wordless prayer.

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