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J U N E   1 9 9 4

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by Christopher Jane Corkery

Hear Christopher Jane Corkery read this poem (in RealAudio):

RA 28.8, RA 14.4

(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Christopher Jane Corkery:
Central and Main (1996)
As in the Days of the Prophets (1992)
Patio (1990)

Go to:
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Poetry Pages

Here is a beginning to harmony and peace.
All tidy on the little farm?
Are all the farmers sleeping?

See how the miles of rock-piled fence
Divide the too-green hillside.
Where are the pigs? Where are the cows?
Why is the sky so wide?

The pink fits in but the gray confounds.
The water stands still. From heat? From grief?
How many haycocks make a farm?
Whose is the shadowy face at the door?

The little inlet of salty water
Lies like a finger behind the house.
Yellow flowers stud the hedges.
Was famine ever a problem at all?

Thatched roof, white wash, veneer of order,
Veneer of calmness, but inside
The kettle's not on the boil. Why must I
Learn what it means to stand at the door?

The mountains have sat like that for years,
Tilting their way to the waterside.
The splotch on the hill? The rich man's house
Who has taken a young girl for his bride.

Shall I ride out and tell her to come
To the cottage below, with its meager store?
Could they sit? Would bread cool on the table?
Of what would they speak? The most recent war?

I fit in more pink (there's been a storm)
But the lake's still flat and the gray confounds.
Oh women in mourning, on hillside, in valley,
Whose is the shadowy face at the door?

Copyright © 1994 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; June 1994; Jigsaw Puzzle in Pregnancy; Volume 273, No. 6; page 110.

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