This is the time of day we hear them coming back,
when the first sunlight drops to the field
like an animal being born, slick and shivering
where it falls. Their hooves grind against the earth,
wheat pounded in a mortar
with a pestle, freed from its husks and impurities.
What wickedness clings to me, it sticks
to the last. I will keep my mouth with a bridle.
Shenandoah Fall 2012
Copyright © 2012 by Richie Hofmann
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission