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The Two Fields, Where I Used to Live
Nothing lasts, and ... in that very fact lies some of
its glory; the sadness ... is really not so terrible.
-- isak dinesen
Where each oat tassel turns
in its own air
On its own white fi ber
well out from the stem --
And the barley beards out, rasping
the fi ngertips,
Both oats and barley bending
bright metal they made
Of brightness, dryness, heat
in authoritative silence --
The fi elds two shining rectangles,
below them, black there
In the tangle of rough grasses
at the fi elds' end,
The shade of the big glisteners,
cottonwoods that found
The little stream underground
before it rises
Where the three fences meet, where
the gully opens,
Where in the quiet the redwings
sway the cattails:
Small grain fi elds of our high country
with the cold mountains lifting
Above you the crooked line
of their crests!
The whole scene nears and clears
now, across fi fty years --