The Cloud Farm

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Who knew that morning on waking To an underwater farm that having To sell it would bury it. In the tension Of memory it remains in present tense: On the shores of the overflowing creek That reverses its eddies like cassette tapes, The no-longer-submerged future squats, fearing its own arrival. It would rather not be than breathe. Its heedless caution of gravity contemplates  The landscape by pushing it away. Away, it pushes back. Cattle float in the roll, Contending for a memory of the surface.    A culvert sharpens the edges of a scrolling That dulls in the ditch with the gilled weeds. Drowned rats drain their fur on the rocks.  The flood has shelved the barn with gravel, A battered treasureless chest. Strewn leaves  Of August green call back their branches that,  Filled with silent choirs, bare the wind’s singing.  It is nineteen ninety-three. I am eleven.  Our farm demands its measures be measured  In lifetimes. Each generation brings a new  Understanding of the old; the old die; And the understanding no longer matters.  But none of us, not even those who can’t, Can afford the debt: you can keep, or sell, The land, but not both. If labor is beyond Any limit of endless dollars, then blaming Money (or greed) is like putting a limit  On love. The flood seemed to open the farm  To the underworld. Or the underworld to us.