Fields

Fields

Orthodox Easter, 2020

 

In warmer places, where the sun lingers,

Fields offer the first harvest.

 

The farmer understood light’s labor

And the generosity of water:

 

Snap peas, strawberries, tomatoes,

Squash and green beans gladden the eye.

 

But this is not the usual season.

This year the farmer buries his harvest.

 

The tractor calls the crows to feast on

Earth’s fruit, crushed in the furrowed field.

 

*

 

Miles away the city parking lots are filled

With cars in which families wait for food.

 

Bird’s eye view shows them like toys in rows,

Figures with face masks and gloves

 

Place a box in each car with food flown in

From across the border. No one knows why

 

This is. The farmer plows the food

Into the soil while people starve in cars.

 

The hungry don’t go harvest

The fields, pay what they can.

 

*

 

The city streets are lined with trucks

Where hospital workers store the dead,

 

If each person could be remembered

With a fistful of flowers, the glasshouses

 

Would empty out. But this is not the time

For old prayers, rituals and incense.

 

We take away the bodies, following

The protocols for toxic waste.

 

Our world is sick this season, Lord, we’re sick

And dying, we plow our harvest in the fields.

 

*

 

My mother has kept the Lent as every year

And she has baked sweet bread.

 

We won’t go home for Resurrection.

The priest left the candles in the mailbox.

 

My father calls me “my little heart,” says

They can’t tell how this will end,

 

We recall the parable of the mustard seed,

We know the right time to plant

 

Is when the fields are plowed, and

Water from our tears is plentiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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