Ready To Be Drawn
by Gloria Nixon-John


                        In Berkey Hall

                        he is reading his paper

                        about Albertine’s lies, telling how

                        (in the anti-locution of the line)

                        Marcel does a quick step then

                        sort of plunks us on the forehead.

                        Earlier today the news was about

                        dairy farms, how it is that the distance

                        from Wisconsin sets the price of milk,

                        how it is all tied to welfare reform

                        and the American conscience

                                    stretched out like the loneliest of back roads.


                        Before it rains the cows

                        in Hickmott’s pasture know, and so they

                        glide on the diagonal toward home

                        heavy udders like military duffels swing.

                        And I can only stop to watch them,

                        to ask who amongst us

                        knows the milk first drawn

                        (or the lie while it is being told)

                        before it becomes some other continent

                        like words in Berkey Hall.



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