• Sharecroppers

    Ryan Wilson

    Fall 2018

    They do their work, and they are strong enough.
    They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
    Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
    That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
    Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
    And days in fields of light they didn’t own.

    Unknown in life, the fog of generations
    Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
    Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
    Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
    Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
    Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
    In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
    I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

    Ryan Wilson is the editor of Literary Matters and the author of The Stranger World (Measure Press, 2017), winner of the Donald Justice Poetry Prize. His work appears widely in periodicals such as Birmingham Poetry Review, First Things, Five Points, the Hopkins Review, the New Criterion, the Yale Review, and Best American Poetry. He teaches at the Catholic University of America.

    Read More

    Web Design and Development by Riverworks Marketing