sun into sky, buffed and bullnecked, bale of yellow straw twine-tied, ends chopped neat as whiskey no ice, burrowing creatures trapped inside up against the many thin minutes, oh, pile the hours on a long-tongued wagon, mind the hitch, stack them high and pack in tight, knit each to each to sway as one along the rut of a short road home where barn cats wait with claws of night as mice and voles escape their bale, gangs of shadows grow blue and bluer, hour by hour as you ride your wagon, blood jet, standing tall, legs wide, balanced on old wooden planks bowed with the weight of a strong-hearted day.
Mary Buchinger is the author of three poetry collections: e i n f ü h l u n g / in feeling (Main Street Rag, 2018), Aerialist (Gold Wake, 2015, shortlisted for the May Swenson Poetry Award, the OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize for Poetry, and the Perugia Press Prize), and Roomful of Sparrows (Finishing Line, 2008). Her poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, Gargoyle, AGNI, Salamander, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. She received both the Daniel Varoujan and the Firman Houghton Awards from the New England Poetry Club and was an invited poet at the Library of Congress. She is currently president of the New England Poetry Club and professor of English and Communication Studies at MCPHS University in Boston. (updated 10/2018)