1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. What Is the Field? by Leila Wilson
What Is the Field?

Related Poem Content Details

The field is filled
with what we see
without sleep.
Never completely
closed, it quickly erodes
when tilled before rain.

If clogged with boulders
it won’t be razed
and once burdened
cannot quicken
under flocks.

The field reveals
glint and holds
leaning, pulls
twist from taut
knots of buds.

We watch the field
for stirring, wait
for stems to spring
back from sparrows.

We hope for a swell
in its middle so
we can say we saw
the sway that comes
from noticing.

Water meanders
to prairie potholes,
throws cordgrass
into switchbacks
as we push past
bramble and scare
a whistling wheel
of geese into air.

The field draws
hawks and sides
of trains, cradles
pools from storms
where ducks plumb
for water snails.

We trample light
between us,
no way to lope
in parting the swales.
We must flatten
to fill the space
with all the rolling
wrapped up in us.

Before home,
the gabled barn
across the road
throws the brightest
rise we’ve ever seen
the field try on.

The field is not
in rows, is not
a faded saw-songed
croon. It pushes green
a mist above mud,
shows how we make do.

We wonder
what we’re not
in the field.
What scours, cuts,
or knocks.
If we could stay
and still feel full
the low line rounding
out a spread
of subtle slope.

Source: Poetry (September 2008)

More from this issue

This poem originally appeared in the September 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

What Is the Field?

Related Poem Content Details

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information