Stonecoast Review Issue 5

Cutting Fields

Written By: Lauren Davis

Mr. Clarke and his only son
cut our hay field every year.
They know when to pull,
stand, when to put gloves on:
Knowing hay could scratch,
twine could snap.

They start work before sunrise,
waking us with the smell of dried grass.
The rumbling of the tractor
gets louder then softer
then louder
as they follow the field           row by row.

They cut before the corn grows tall,
before it hides us in our houses,
before the harvest moon,        before
the death count of deer by automobile begins its season
and the police start coming out
to shoot the wounded ones.

The Clarkes don’t talk while they work,
they bring their own water,
and blush when we offer sandwiches at noon.

This year when the corn is cut,
Mr. Clarke finds a litter of newborn kittens.
A neighbor finds the burned body of a girl.

Lauren M. Davis first studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington on a National Student Exchange and returned to Indiana University of Fort Wayne to complete a Bachelors of Art in Writing. She then attended the University of Southern Maine to graduate with a Masters of Fine Art in poetry. Her dissertation included a collection of 38 poems titled Sleeping Through the Earthquake.

Her poetry has appeared in NE Indiana’s Silver Anniversary Journal,Stone House: A Literary Anthology, Confluence, and the Stonecoast Review. She now teaches writing and humanities courses at Indiana Institute of Technology and Ivy Tech Community College and was recently awarded a writer’s residency from Shelton, Washington’s Hypatia in the Woods.

Her collection of ekphrastic poetry, The Ekphrastic City, A Local Poet Documents Local Art, was printed in May 2016 and is being sold through Artlink Gallery’s Community Supported Art Program.