Children in a Field | Poem 2004 | Painting 1960

Children in a Field | © 1960 Fairfield Porter




by Angela Shaw


They don’t wade in so much as they are taken.

Deep in the day, in the deep of the field,

every current in the grasses whispers hurry

hurry, every yellow spreads its perfume

like a rumor, impelling them further on.

It is the way of girls. It is the sway

of their dresses in the summer trance-

light, their bare calves already far-gone

in green. What songs will they follow?

Whatever the wood warbles, whatever storm

or harm the border promises, whatever

calm. Let them go. Let them go traceless

through the high grass and into the willow-

blur, traceless across the lean blue glint

of the river, to the long dark bodies

of the conifers, and over the welcoming

threshold of nightfall.


(From Poetry, September, 2004, Vol. 184, No. 5)

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