Poem 24, June 24  

The late-season cornfield  

I see it to my left, a cornfield, recently planted
near Highway 61, sweet corn sprouts  an inch tall
in red clay, Kentucky soil.
I keep driving south toward Burkesville.  

The nightjar sang, whip-poor-will,
in early May, warning farmers to till & toil;
singing time to plant corn; its nocturnal call
although unheeded due to rains; it never recanted.  

I make a quick turnaround;
pull off the road;
enter the cornfield;
walk row after row.  

The field is not fertile ground
like Cumberland River bottom land.
A road once ran the length of it, revealed
by limestone gravel on clay. I turn to go  

back toward my car, and say:
“there you are,” as soon as I see
the corner-notched arrowhead,
speckled Kentucky flint washed clean,  
by yesterday’s rain.