Gleaner

—Casey FitzSimons

Would you know me
if you saw me
picking bits and clods from your field?

Does the way
I bend, my neglect of some furrows
put you in mind of those times
I would not wait for you, would not
listen? Would you recognize
my fluttering tatters as some
pretty dress I wore, whirling
proudly to show off for you?

Would the meager hoard of things
weighing down my bag give away
how much I’ve lost, make you
realize how little you’ve known of that?

Would the way I sweep with a muddy hand
some greasy strand behind my ear
awaken recognition, make you sure it’s me? Or
is the simple fact of a figure roaming an empty field
enough to remind you?

If you come loping across the stubble, I’ll
take myself away. It’s too late
for any other course, now that
you have planted, I have gone,
you have reaped, and I have taken
some of what was left.
I’ve got almost enough now
for the time remaining.

 

(After Connie Post’s “Recognition”)

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