Two Poems
Brian Brown
Brian Brown Page 1

Archaeology of the Everyday

Scars are everywhere on this land-
Weatherbeaten barns stitched
Onto the thick skin of my ancestors.

A malignancy of chinaberry trees
Slips into quiet remission,
Ghosts of shade run amok
From the darkest days of the Depression.

Late cucumbers succumb
On skinny backyard fences,
While cotton is finished
Nearly as soon as it is planted,

Trampled by a machinery
Inconsiderate of these fields.

The economy of daylight proves
A broken promise as I move
With heavy luggage into winter.
Passing the dream-cemeteries

The failures of my fathers
Twinkle on the dawn,
Like stars that wash their headstones.

Their cries ride the echoes of coyote
At woods' edge. Fear uncaged.

If I stand here long enough,
My shoes will become my grave.