William Billiter


Singular trees
hold fast
to the fields.
A woman,
who knows,
she could be
the farmer’s wife,
lights a cigarette,
turns over
the ten of spades.
A tree here,
a tree there,
holding fast.
Someone said
it’s best
to leave them
plough around them—
they keep the earth
from slipping away.
Soon enough,
the corn
will be taller
than any man.
Roots smoulder
in secret,
wait for rain.
The woman drips
a little ash
onto the table,
dust rising
over the fields—
it’s impossible
to cheat

from a distance.