Beard Fields

Spinning clicks of combines have dispersed into ash and chaff
and red-rusted handles.

They sit in a row, lining a corn field
that will never feel them again. Around their flat tires, cows eat

brown grass made autumn leaf orange by rust and midday sun,
chewing their lips into smiles.

On a two lane road, Amish pass
me in a caravan of Chevys. Their beards-smothered by windshields

and air conditioning-like priests yell blasphemy toward stiff brown hats
shades darker brown and darker brown-

indifferent. I enjoy driving in Ohio.
I enjoy seeing the passing parishes through the safety of my window,

through the danger I create with waned attention given to roadside cats
and ostrich farms. Forgetting my

speedometer I forget my gas peddle
and idle into a life of cloth seats supporting me and with this realization

my truck stops. I am surrounded by rowed fields ready to grow my lunch
in months to come, or days,

or now because the seeds in
my palm feel fresh enough to eat standing here among dirt and insects,

all of them waiting, too, for the great harvest,
or death. What a terrible thing to say.

~ Joe Betz

Joe Betz is an undergraduate English Studies major at Ball State University, located in northern Indiana. After graduating in December he plans to pursue an MFA focusing on creative writing and poetry.

3 Responses to “Beard Fields”

  1. Love it… feels feels, bub… real hard… reminds me of our road trips home on 41 in the truck… very nice – Kyle

  2. Well done. Reminds me of Sunday drives, looking out at the view…enjoying life. Mom

  3. Why do the Amish get to drive Chevys’ no less?
    I wish the days and life as you describe were really that simple. No doubt, they could be if we chose to pursue that. Ahhhh, I prefer the ‘great harvest’ always to death! Well done young Mr. Betz! Well done!

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