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Bruce Guernsey's Poetry

OCTOBER

Today, they’re cutting the corn,
the stalks dry and blowing, brown
and rattling, rattling
when you walk by
as if something were inside,
a deer, a coon, something
alive, someone maybe.
But today
they’re cutting it down
as they do every October,
the combines on the back roads,
on the fields,
working all night, next day and next,
until the land is flat again
and we can see
some ranch house we forgot
a mile or so away.
Out here
the corn is a special mystery,
a haunted place
where children warned not to
want to play.
No wonder each September
before the harvest
some farm kid disappears,
losing himself in the tall acres,
tunneling under the sabers
rattling over his head,
vanishes for hours, for days.
Usually, they come back
or are found; once in a while,
they’re not. That’s why
slowing to a walk
somewhere out from home
and out of breath,
I always stop, sure I’ve heard
something in there,
(Cont’d. with no break)
something I woke jogging by,
one of those kids maybe
in the forest of corn,
hear him, the closer I get,
running away.