For Whom Grief



I mean to say how he worked the rows for hours,
hoe steady in his hand, striking earth again and again—

how we watched night settle
as he leaned against the hoe,
wiping his brow with the back of his arm,

and then, wielding his instrument,
began again—
how we quietly left a plate out—

mornings, plate scraped clean
and him, out the window, at it again—

Susannah Nevison’s poetry and book reviews have recently appeared in Western Humanities Review and Jerry Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn.

Editor’s Note: This poem was a semifinalist in the 2009 New Southerner Literary Contest.

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