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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Athena Kildegaard


In early spring the fields—
prairie before pioneers
with horses, plows, visions
of abundance transported—
are dressed in mourning.
They ask for nothing,
make no difference
in the general scheme. If they
were mouths, they’d be toothless.
If hands, empty. If feet
they’d have walked off
in search of bounty.
The fields, in early spring,
cannot find even
the wherewithal to cry
for themselves.


Pull the discs
into the soil, turning
as you go, you facing
into the sun
or against it, into the line
of bur oaks or away,
into the direction
of finches and pelicans
or away, it doesn’t matter.

What you have to say
about this world
is that you will make it
according to your own
purposes, turn what you will,
deny what you will, wake up
tomorrow sure you did right
because to answer the sun
in any other way
would be to sow doubt.


Athena Kildegaard is the author of four books of poetry; a fifth is forthcoming from Tinderbox Editions in early 2018. She teaches at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Other works by Athena Kildegaard »

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