portion of the artwork for Helen Wickes' poetry
His Back Forty
Helen Wickes

How desperately he begged for weed,
that one Christmas I spent on the farm
in Kentucky, long-gone now, him as well,
he needed those seeds for grandmother

to germinate, to transplant to back acres
nourishing soybeans—until “the govenment”
paid more to plow crops underground
than the world paid for people

to sell good beans—wanted weed for ducks
that adored the stuff, for the fine, fat ducks
of autumn; he hoped they’d land, and gorge,
and be dreamily ready for his shotgun.

As for seeds—no source! I, what’s worse,
planned on being someone, getting somewhere,
was barely dazzled by the two of them,
so old, such schemers, still wanting everything.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 35 | Winter 2012