Amie Sharp: “West Tennessee, 1980”


Small-town storefronts leaned over sidewalks,
their signs bent and clattering in rain.
In summer a wet heat coiled in the soybean
furrows and in the troughs of grunting pigs.
Couples spent warm nights shucking
ears of corn, a silken-gold undressing.
Tractors sawed the fields, skidding over dips
in farmland, engines churning blades
into green blurs. Banded hay bales dropped
like pillows on meadows of acrid grass.
The sky flung persimmon clouds behind
the small hills, and everywhere the roads
mouthed sentinel lines of maple and pine.
Next door our neighbor packed his great oak
with concrete once he saw lightning
had riven its trunk. I was a child, and my questions
were about the dew and how it fell.

Amie Sharp’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Atticus Review, Badlands, Bellevue Literary Review, Forge, Lascaux Review, New Plains Review, and Tar River Poetry, among others.

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