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A Lonely Field

ISSUE:  Summer 1944

Lonely field soon gets in trouble.
Vines along a fence will double
Their weight to cover it.
Out of corners will drift the thistle
And up from the dark will grope
The brier and burr; where good crops were,
The hazel and thorn will bristle
And climb the sunny slope.
Whoever thinks he has tamed a little
Space of earth, to leave it
Alone and safe, will find the brittle
Sprouts and seeds will weave it
New patterns—while a wildness crouches
In every shadow there.
His ruts soon fill, and colors spill,
And weeds from their little pouches
Toss chaos on the air.
Even if he is old and sleeping
On a hill beyond the town,
The ivy will pull, with no one keeping
Watch, the red rose down.
Roots will start the neat stone leaning,
Vines will grope from nowhere,
And flowers like flame cover date and name
With their own arrogant meaning—
If no one remembers to go there.
The hawks hang over it.


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