bright leaves


Bright Leaves
Kerri French
That season, the tobacco
bloomed early and we hoped
for rain, the ground so dry
and bright it hurt to walk
through grass. Our clothes
grew stiff along the clothesline
and we closed the barn
to ignore the drought,
the new harvest grasping
for color in the dark.
Across the country, the fields
emptied before the crop’s
leaves could spread,
each farm a shadow
of the air’s distortion.
It seemed the heat seized
the land, even us, and we
spoke of water only
when alone.

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