Rich Farm Land Drew Settlers to Hess – Ryan Clark

The dawn hushes on a weed-held tin shack,
sound slow to near, to drive forward.
The wake of the cattle trail is a movement of settlers,
hands begging of the earth a word, a note,
to stay and grow. The wet year version let them
spill across the river and begin to farm. Say Tigris,
Euphrates. Say this land is lined with drought.
Take Hess and carve a town for the dry years.
Trust the sway of the wheat dressing the rust
in goldleaf, full of seasons stained loud in the faces
blistered by high banks of sun. Trust the white sign
on a large mercantile store hanging like cotton
over the town. Trust that again we let in the rain
as we reach the end of what thirst left for us:
wood shook off from home, the old bus
buckled against the unincorporated field.

Ryan ClarkRyan Clark, a native Texan, writes most of his poems using a unique method of homophonic translation. His poetry has most recently appeared in Split Lip Magazine, Found Poetry Review, and Aufgabe. His first book, How I Pitched the First Curve, is forthcoming from Lit Fest Press. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Waldorf University.