By Ashlee

A few weekends ago I drove with some friends from the Twin Cities to Chicago and saw a whole lot of humble farm land in between.

“Farming States”

Green pastures

Are what we are after

No more skeletal tractors

And burnt fields

Inside our nostrils will never heal

No more littered ditches

And a wool blanket that itches

Cover your ears now

The school bell is how

We know its morning

Leaving these Wisconsin farms

With our sunburned arms

We’ve swallowed enough dirt

For our throats to forever hurt

And to send us back to they city

Companion Poem:

“The Man Born to Farming” by Wendell Berry

The Grower of Trees, the gardener, the man born to farming,
whose hands reach into the ground and sprout
to him the soil is a divine drug. He enters into death
yearly, and comes back rejoicing. He has seen the light lie down
in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.
His thought passes along the row ends like a mole.
What miraculous seed has he swallowed
That the unending sentence of his love flows out of his mouth
Like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water
Descending in the dark?

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