How Could You Blame Them

—they knew the same green height
by seasons they marked;
repeated plant/sow, reap/sell, buy/bury;
just a twitch in corn/soy,
time/draught, cost/profit;
they knew sweat beaded first
in the third hour of work,
and a hose to the wrist
cured the same way each week.
Sons learned the plot lands
and dug their own initials
as ruts plowed next spring—
how could you blame them,
stunned still with a month of rain
and the corn drowned down,
the tilled shapes washed away
by June?

John Mark Brown is a queer poet from Southern Illinois, a senior creative writing student at Eastern Illinois University, and a cardigan enthusiast. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review Online, Yellow Chair Review, Indiana Voice Journal, and Rat’s Ass Review, among others. He can be found embarrassing himself on Twitter: @johnbrownie13.

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