A Woman Stands in A Field
The scene is so clear it might be a memory.
But no. It is too clear for that. This is something happening right now.
A woman stands in a field near the only stand of trees for a long way round. She is
looking down, scanning the ground. Perhaps she is searching for acorns.
But she is beyond the tree-shadow, and she has no basket in which to gather, and besides,
upon closer inspection, it turns out the trees are not even oaks. She parts the grass with
her hands, gently, as a mother might push the hair from her child’s forehead. She steps
gingerly over the rooms and tunnels filled with tiny animals. A wind comes. It shakes the
tree and runs its hand across the field, flattening the grass.
This evening, she will still be here. It will be hard to see the lesser darkness of her dress
bobbing above the greater darkness of the field.
Days from now, when she finds it, we will no longer be watching. She will draw it gently
from the thatch, glinting like a baby snake, a thin gold chain.
There you are, she will say matter-of-factly. She will examine the clasp carefully and
then re-fasten the chain around her neck and begin walking through the fields toward
home. It is just as well that we will no longer be observing the scene. Her faith in the
clasp seems almost perverse, and it would be all you could do not to cry out.
121 The Paris-America
Michael Bazzett’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, 32 Poems, Hayden’s Ferry Review and Best New Poets. He is the author of The Imaginary City, recently published in the OW! Arts Chapbook Series, and his verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, The Popol Vuh is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two children.
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