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The Dying Farmer

Honorable Mention – 2018 Poetry Contest

Act I

Put me where I am useful
just beneath the topsoil
half-inch down of warmth
and wet loam in my hands
pitch me a shovel or rake
let me get up when the sun
splits land from sky and blazes

There’s work to be done


Act II

Tell me to rest when darkness falls
though I keep one ear to the barn
where the calving goes
when the sow spits outs piglets
like drops of water and then rolls over
on one or two short
happy lives

If I’m not there to save them
put me in marketing or
production or design
and teach me a fresh use for duck tape
the brave new ground



I want a part
in a pioneering play
and I’m fine to be
the living tree on stage
with no lines to speak

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Kathryn Gahl’s favorite things (besides words) are cooking, humor, Feldenkrais, open minds, red lipstick, and dancing mad hot ballroom. Her awards include The Hal Prize for fiction and poetry.

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Phone: 608.733.6633 x25