Heat above the myrtles,
            reverent as Sunday church.

Past old graves, the roadway slices
waiting cottonfields,
                              wet with morning dew.

Rows of bleeding clover,
tender eiderdown,
                        land where children left for foreign wars.

The houses stare vacantly.
They testify
                  to what cannot be told.

Gayle Ledbetter Newby has been published in Gravel: A Literary Journal, Hiram Poetry Review, and Passager. Her work is forthcoming in decomP magazinE, After the Pause, The Santa Fe Literary Review, and Literary Orphans. Gayle has worked as a teacher and as a librarian. A longtime resident of Mississippi, she now lives in Utah.

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