Love in the Cane Field-After the Grinding
The young groom wakes to stars and October chill
to find a trail of bedclothes disappearing
into the children's cane. There's nothing left
of the festival, save the smoke that lingers·
above the burned fields. The cane's been pressed,
the trucks readied for the trip to town.
Here and there nighthawks skim the clearing
for mice. There's no other movement
above the rows as he gathers wood for the. fire.
He tries to think of the evening they've just passed
alone, the lines of her back beneath the moon,
the hope of money this year's cane will bring,
but cannot keep his mind from what waits for her
between the stalks-snakes left from summer,
sinkholes yawning for her legs, blades
left carelessly about. He does not blink
until the cane parts, releasing her to the clearing
naked and smiling, stronger than he knew.
In the fire's glow he sees a spider web
stretched across her stomach, hip to hip,
the shine of her skin against the night, her eyes
closing slowly with each step toward him.
Next year's growth surrounds them in the dark,
and morning holds its breath across the fields.
About the Author
Published by Texas Review Press