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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing January 2023
Mower, poem by Alfred Corn.
England, Devon, 1910
Scythe, sweeping a future through thick grass,
The mower a master at exact tasks just those
Who handle an ash shaft abraded soapstone
Smooth by calloused palms like his can grasp—
Likewise, the heft of its swinging jugglery.
He wonders what or what to read in their faces,
Faces of starers, gathering not to praise.
If his tendons stretched to forestall feckless increase,
Giving pleasance back to park and common,
Will he stand by and watch as they’re enclosed,
A hedged, divided, plotted ruination?
“Developers, pack of conceited ghosts:
We won’t again see meadows thrive like that un.
Ach, it’s tethered patchwork fools would rather.”
He leans on the handle of his scythe, the posture
Doing as his sigh. And becomes a statue.
© Alfred Corn
Alfred Corn’s eleventh volume, The Returns: Collected Poems, was published in 2022 by Press 53.