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Monday, July 15, 2013

365 Poems: Wheat of summer

Day 196

It's too green, this July. Too much rain this summer, thunderstorms forming and reforming, weather fronts that pass through then, back up over us, east to west, backwards weather; too many cloudy days with scattered showers, it's been warm but not hot. 

On the way to work, 24 West through the Little River valley, I watch it all -- the floods that drown the new-planted fields, the storms that blow the branches and leaves, the hazy sunrises that promise rain. The soybean fields that grow low to the ground, dark green, bushy, they won't be harvested until well into fall. The corn, not yet six-feet as the old rhyme describes, lagging behind thanks to the wet spring, the leaves still reaching up, not yet tasselling, a different verdant shade -- not like some years, near-drought years, when they droop and harvest forcasts shrink.

Friday as I drove home, smoke in the distance, a strange yellow color, and I wondered, what's on fire? Two or three or more places where I could see the smoke ascending, not a lot, but --

Around a corner, question answered. A long open-trailered semi, sitting in a field. A combine nearby, huge, red, a marvel of engineering, its tines spanning so many rows, churning up chaff and dust as it races back and forth in the rural equivlent of the Indy 500.

If you'd fly over an Indiana July, what a mosiac you'd see: the little towns and bigger cities, little splotches and bigger sprawl; the acres and acres of farmfields, light green and dark green, bordered by the county roads, 500 S and 400 W, Yellow Springs Road and Little River Road, and checkered throughout, the golden squares of winter wheat, planted in the fall, reminding us all winter of the green spring will bring, harvested in the full flush of growing season, maybe we should call it as it is: summer wheat.

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