O Wheat and Barley, if we did not cut
the prairie each year, your roots would be deeper
than Alaska snow and wider than our throats.
Why can’t we plant and not uproot.
In every leafy stalk, in every sugar grain, let the words
be etched, how I still love. The wind feathers
through the plains and even lays some stalks to their sides,
but still there is no chaff expelled, the roots hold
everything inside. Wheat and Barley, I am
not like you. I cannot stand still. Teach me,
Wheat, and teach me, Barley, how to pray
like you sustain the muscles of the thick-
necked boys, the girls in flowered dresses, the groundhog
and the mouse. How landlocked you remain,
but ocean green, ocean grain.