American Harvest: 2020

The farmers said this week was harvest again

For beans (soy) and corn in the upper Midwest

Summer green turned the pale yellow of autumn

Around the lakeshore trees turned blazing red

Every time I looked it didn't seem fair

I didn't deserve the clear and colossal harvest moon

The summer sun sinking below the horizon

Burning red and yellow and orange

I didn't deserve the placid water

The freshly harvested corn

The jar of homemade sauerkraut and salsa

And apples picked red, hanging heavy on the branch

They crunched, sweet like always

I half-expected to taste smoke

The fires that burned the sky

Not orange leaves but acrid smoke and flames

Animals charred corpses lying in the raptured meadow

A mountain lake surrounded by blackened dead plants

Firefighters who lost their lives

Families who lost their homes

A natural world come face to face with its destroyer

Still this world feeds us

On farms and in barns the animals and plants

offer up their bounty

While we scowl at half-empty supermarket shelves

We do not deserve this world

those of us who left it behind long ago

who buried it in plastics 

and pointed the finger at anyone but ourselves

We called the land just dirt

forgetting it was alive

Forgetting it kept us alive

I looked at the lake, at the trees, at the fields

In this year of so much pain how could they give again

Forgiveness whispered in the breeze

And I drove over it on my way home


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