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"Now the air is thick with drifts of milkweed seed"

Published onApr 02, 2023

Photo by Jackson Jorvan:

To live in a meadow at the waning
of the year is to live in great
drifts of days—they pile up
like clouds,
then stream away. It is to stand
under the fullness of the glittering
as the cool air clears;
to be eyed by Jupiter at the rising
of the night; to walk
with the insects scattering,
field mice darting dark through
your path, shadows of a thought
that you just couldn’t grasp.
To have the dry grass rustle;
their sharp heads bowing,
sparrows flit between.

To live in a meadow at the waning
is to feel the late life flower.
One day it’s teeming
with ladybugs. Now the air
is thick with drifts of milkweed seed;
silken puffs, they seem to tug
themselves from the pods,
then sparkle up into the millions;
they are all around us;
the sun is beaming.

Such sudden fecundity, profligate,
overflowing, then

To live in a meadow at the waning,
but the moon

Benjamin Harnett is a poet, fiction writer, historian, and digital engineer. His poetry has appeared recently in Poet Lore, Saranac Review, ENTROPY, and the Evansville Review. He is the author of the novel THE HAPPY VALLEY and the short story collection GIGANTIC. He lives in Cherry Valley, NY with his wife Toni and their collection of eccentric pets. He works for The New York Times.

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