The river swells, breaks
the hymen of its bank.
It bleeds over crops in channels
the plough carved like a child
gripping the ground so hard 
that fingernails snap, leaving only quick
to recover after the battering is done.

I watch my father ferry blocks of bales
from the barn to back up the front line.
They stack erect like fat golden soldiers
protecting their wheaten children. 

In the evening I put his cold ink blue overalls
onto the wooden slatted drying rack and raise
them like a sodden flag over the Rayburn.

My mother stands next to me,
her tears are lines of slug mucus.

S.J. Lister

If you have any comments on this poem, S.J.Lister would be pleased to hear them.

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