Hernandez ART
Can you decipher it—that faint
creaking rising up from
the farm’s patchwork of yellow
and umber, crops and loam?

Could be the steady pressure and
release of mattress springs.
Could be a sow or sheep or other
distressed animal, bleating.

Perhaps it’s the cranking
of some stubborn tractor engine
refusing to catch. Maybe it’s that
lone figure standing in the wind,

that stiff blue whisker
in the wheatfield’s swaying hair.
Hard to tell—the sound falls
between mechanical and despair.

*Image by Edward Pennefield, courtesy Library of Congress.