Judson Simmons


On a road of dirt and rubble

you will pass farm after farm-miles

of good earth, tilled and labored

by the hands of strong men.


Their sun worn backs cross fields:

acres born again each year

beneath the unforgiving sky.


Each morning they rise, servants

to the land, slaves to the grain.

Every stalk cut brings them closer

to the dirt.


A cloud of dust

sweeps across as a truck speeds past.

It's heading west, racing the sun,

trying to find any way out of here.


Soon the truck is nothing more

than a speck on the horizon,

a period on a last sentence.

Soon this place will be nothing more

than a memory for the driver-

still young enough to forget.


But his parents will remember.

Each night his mother will save

a place for him at the table

and in her prayers.


The father will mutter to himself,

comments of complaint

because he grows tired

with every sunrise.


At night he sleeps in the next room-

alone, they wait for the night

and the earth to devour them.


Judson Simmons is a graduate of the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Program, and holds a BA in Writing from the University of Houston.His chapbook, The Hallelujah Hour, will be published by Amsterdam Press later on this year.Judsonís poetryhas appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Folio, Evergreen Review and other journals.