The Poet Spiel: “the end”

the end

            i don’t think
        anyone cried
on the first day

there was loud silence
the kitchen table

dad phoned
the wheat-threshers
told them
there would be
no filthy sweat work

one out-of-hell
sweep of hail
had wasted his readied crop
one day too soon

no one wanted to talk
so i hid my mouth upstairs
just played and played my harry belafonte
till it numbed me dead

when i came to
my dumbed diamond needle
was banging
deep grooves in my head

my folks were still
in the kitchen
at dark

the dogs were scratching
our screendoor
and i wasn’t sure if
the cows had been milked

                my dad had to quit 
            a lifetime 
    to farming

and we had to move
where our only harvest
was just a dumb little patch
of green grass where i rooted

a pussy willow cutting
hoping it might spring up
to cast cover over
the naked bathroom window

of a little white house
crammed between
who did not have trucks

who made their lights
push through
my bedroom walls
after bedtime

and me just listening
to the slick-black street
where a kid could not
kick dirt

This poem was reprinted by permission from The Poet Spiel’s chapbook once upon a farmboy (Madman Ink, 2008). Visit his website here.