She took off her shoes at noon and stood in the furrow.
Imagine a crop of women, part wheat, part corn, part bean,
the three from standard rotation become one creation,
head, silk, and nodules taking nitrogen from the soil hand
over fist. The farmers invested part for seed and part
for selling, as in the old days before pharmaceutical companies
took over farming just as they’d taken over sugar.
When they saw the new opportunity, technicians made advances
that would keep fields free from pests and weeds, raising
the women’s yield even higher until they were the only product
available on the market. Summer nights, she sped past the fields,
the edges of her headlights glancing on acres of rows of bodies
as if full pews had risen in worship to hear the reading
of the gospel, but instead of listening, whispered sister, sister.
Angie Macri is the author of Underwater Panther (Southeast Missouri State University), winner of the Cowles Poetry Book Prize. Her recent work appears in The Cincinnati Review, Quarterly West, and South Dakota Review. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she lives in Hot Springs and teaches at Hendrix College. Find her online at angiemacri.wordpress.com.