The Affair

By David Baker b. 1954 David Baker

Then the long fencerow, that years ago had   
heaved and buckled, took on a copper shine   
in the sunset, the dew. A garlic haze
of cut pastures simmered fields away.


They were flushed from sex—they were   
traced with that other body, just parted.   
They stood in the length of first fall waiting.   
And their skin, that had been so willing,


delible as ash to a trembling fingertip,
became its own again. One star, three.
Nothing good was going to happen. Night winds   
lifted themselves out of wheat rows and shook


off what had been done. So they turned   
elsewhere. Her fingers gathered up her collar   
softly in a bunch, and she put on a scarf.   
It was not even cold. It was only cool.

David Baker, “The Affair” from The Truth About Small Towns. Copyright © 1998 by David Baker. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Arkansas Press,

Source: The Truth about Small Towns (University of Arkansas Press, 1998)

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Poet David Baker b. 1954

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Nature, Relationships, Living, Fall, Love, Men & Women, Separation & Divorce, Desire, Heartache & Loss

 David  Baker


Though he is known primarily as a poet of the Midwest, David Baker was born in Bangor, Maine in 1954. He spent his childhood in Missouri and attended Central Missouri State University before receiving his PhD from the University of Utah. He has won fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Pushcart Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Currently a Professor of English . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Relationships, Living, Fall, Love, Men & Women, Separation & Divorce, Desire, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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