AND DUST TO DUST
by Curt Stubbs
There ain’t much I don’t know about this land,
The smell of it, the taste of it in the summer
when the sweet birthing rains bring bounty
and the lightning bugs glow just past my son’s fingers.
She groans in the deep dark mornings
when the cattle calve and my old cock rooster
rehearses his songs behind the big barn.
She’s a woman still fertile trusting a man who
who can’t get her with child.
She’s a child alone when the powers gone out
and the summer storms but doesn’t bring rain.
There’s something sad of a morning when the bean fields
gulp dew as the hot sun smirks and the still air stifles;
you can almost hear the land dying under my plow,
her death rattle dry, her last thought on another year’s bounty.
This land kept my daddy alive and his daddy as well
And if the dry heaves don’t kill her,
she’ll keep me and my son and his down the line.
If I thought she’d accept them I’d shed tears like autumn leaves,
and if I thought my prayers would save this farm
I’d wear holes in the knees of my trousers
and burn candles twenty four hours around the clock.
It’s a day sad to dying when dreams dry up;
and dance swirling away in afternoon dust devils,
the roots that held a man to his land
clipped at ground level and the clear sky above
singing the hollow shell meaningless blues.
3880 N. Park Apt. A
Tucson, Az 857719