In the Field by Rebecca Aronson

This week’s Poetry Pick comes from Rebecca Aronson’s 2007 collection of poetry Creature, Creature, which holds the honor of first recipient of the Main-Traveled Roads Poetry prize. This first collection of poetry reflects the author’s familiarity with the landscape and inhabitants of both the Midwest and southwest regions of the US. They juxtapose picturesque scenes with honest appraisals of the people which inhabit them, and provide the weight of truth and a measure of clarity. In the following poem, Aronson effectively captures a culmination of images and notions leading up to the kind of moment many a Midwesterner would recognize as genuine:

In the Field

Where cows graze
among mud and stones
and their own droppings
we spread our blanket
and sit close
for the first time
this whole week spent
in your mother’s house,
we put our hands
on each other and slide
quiet under the enormous eyes
of cows, fogging up as I
spread my skirt (your mother said
as skirt for walking? yes I said
it’s a walking skirt), and we
are moving together, the skirt
around us so the cows might wonder
but not the ruddy-faced man
bobbing suddenly over a hedge
or the one with him who
tipped his hat, later introduces
as your mother’s favorite
neighbor at the market where
he shook your hand
a long time.

Formerly with Northwest Missouri State University, Rebecca Aronson continues to act as contributing editor to the Laurel Review. She currently teaches and resides in the Albuquerque area.

“Creature, Creature” is available at Barnes and Nobel online

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