I am no shepherd of a child’s surmises.
I have seen fear where the coiled serpent rises,
Thirst where the grasses burn in early May
And thistle, mustard, and the wild oat stay.
There is dust in this air. I saw in the heat
Grasshoppers busy in the threshing wheat.
So to this hour. Through the warm dusk I drove
To blizzards sifting on the hissing stove,
And found no images of pastoral will,
But fear, thirst, hunger, and this huddled chill.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Today's poem is "Montana Pastoral," by a fairly well-known twentieth-century author named J. V. Cunningham. He lived in Montana only for a few years as a child, in Billings during the 1910s and 1920s, but those years influenced a lifetime of writing. "Montana Pastoral" was written in 1941, and published in an anthology called The Helmsman the following year.