Century Farm

Jessi Peterson

White clapboard worn to silver sits
straddling the crest of a dark wave of soil,
sailing a froth of sand atop the dark, implacable earth.
Below us in the trough, hidden now by the spray 
off June’s green bowsprit runs the river,
the current towards which we are slowly,
inexorably crashing, the hill a wave that reared
past glaciers, has been traveling back
ever since to the depths, slumping
under the weight of us: a century
at least of cowbells and beehives, 
of pitchforks and silo staves,
whiskey bottles and bailing twine. 
Our five generations mere flotsam and jetsam, 
derelict cargo borne along on the current of years.
Just detritus to be swept under the keel.
The earth plows itself, slowly turning us all under.

Jessi Peterson is a children’s librarian in Chippewa Falls. Her chapbook, from which this poems is taken, Century Farm, will appear this year from Finishing Line Press. For more by and about Jessi, find her on volumeone.org.