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Countless Green

by Becky Seward

This is a poem I wrote in 2006 for my undergraduate thesis at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, but I still find it relevant to the farm life I live today. It was written about my last day on a farm I worked on for nearly five years.

Countless Green It was my first and last day on the plow in the secluded North Field our dream space

Behind me behind the buzzing machine lay many pearly crests Her underbelly

On my last farm day I sat baking in the warm sanctuary of the greenhouse pulling the tendrils of chickweed from between the little mustards

I lost myself for a minute in the dusting of lichen on the black soil shimmering with silver bits

I wiped away the green then the first and second layer of silver-speckled black

Each layer a mosaic of unraveling silver and loam

This life is living sculpture it is plotting and planting like so many blooming brushstrokes

It is toiling towards the perfect convergence of pride and people and wild

It is unpredictable art with a menacing palette of blood, ice, feathers, sweat, manure, soil, tears, mud, rain, and countless shades of green

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