Detail of the Hayfield

I followed myself for a long while, deep into the field.
Two heads full of garbage.

Our scope was larger than I realized,
which only made me that much more responsible.

Yellow, yellow, gold, and ocher.
We stopped. We held the field. We stood very still.

Everyone needs a place.

You need it for the moment you need it, then you bless it—
thank you soup, thank you flashlight

and move on. Who does this? No one.


Copyright © 2013 by Richard Siken. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on February 8, 2013. Browse the Poem-a-Day archive.

About this Poem

"My new manuscript includes several long 'landscape' poems that move forward with rhetorical and meditative gestures. I wanted to inhabit these locations in a personal way as well. It didn't work inside the poems—they became muddy and confusing, with conflated speakers and tones. The 'detail' poems offered a way to revisit the landscapes with an inside view, rather than the overview. 'Detail of the Hayfield' is a companion piece to a longer poem, 'Gold Landscape with a Blur of Conquerors.'"
—Richard Siken