The Boy in the Browning Field

The boy in the browning field
Does not see the scattering
Of crabgrass, sunflowers, or tumbleweed.
He does not smell the lavender
or the dull decay of a coyote kill.
He does not remember
the rusty beer cans
He kicked off the dirt path
To arrive here at this intersection.

He stoops
Watching a black beetle
Carry a green blade
Across the expanse.

He does not hear the hiss and rumble
From the highway beyond the wire fence.
He does not look above
Where stars emerge
From beyond the jet plumes.
He does not think about that man
Who will take away his mother
Tonight and yesterday and tomorrow,
Or about his sister
Who whines too much.


petePete Howard works as an English teacher, a musician, a writer, and a house painter.