59. Spiritus Mundi

Listen around to the long sentence the land is saying,

to the wind rumoring through the aggregate of grasses.


Hear the soft explosions of all that is tilled under,

a scumble of clods cleaved by the blade, the sheared leavings


of wheat, and memory, memory, a root system still

drilling down, searching out moisture, anything that’s useful,


anything dear. Do you recognize your own shy gestures

in the weft of the fields? Oh sisters and brothers,


let the gentle tether of our longing keep us here

among the undulant, amber barley and russet oats.


And if all flesh is grass, then let us live humbly, as grasses do.

In sympathy, we shall shiver and bend, pressing our knees


into the earth, turning our faces to the quavering sun

— Amy Fleury

Amy Fleury is the author of Beautiful Trouble (Southern Illinois UP, 2004), and the chapbook, Reliquaries of the Lesser Saints (RopeWalk Press, 2010). She was the 2009-10 Amy Clampitt Resident Poetry Fellow. A native of Seneca, Kansas, she now directs the M.F.A. Program at McNeese State University in Louisiana.



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