Behind the Harvesters
We stumble-herd out the front door,
down past the mailbox
with its black paint peeling,
drawing on the ill-fitting mittens
well shed later
when we realize
its still too warm
for mittens in the fall.
Down over the parking lot,
tattered basketball nets on either side,
our scuffling sneakers
grind brittle leaves
into colorful nothingness.
Our shoulders jostle together
and we bounce off one another,
wild with crisp air;
Our cheeks blossom with it,
our noses, matching,
turned-up, like our Mothers,
We gallop through the thick grass
past benches dedicated to people we never knew,
trampling over the woodchips of the playground,
smacking monkey bars and hanging hoops as we run
to listen to them ring out behind us.
Into the crushed, frosted stalks of the cornfield,
we gather as we go,
half-ears the harvester missed as it culled,
sweeping the field like three Ruths,
and comparing our bounty along the way.