Natasha Trethewey

Again, the Fields

                     After Winslow Homer

the dead they lay long the lines like sheaves of Wheat I could 
have walked on the boddes all most from one end too the other

No more muskets, the bone-drag
weariness of marching, the trampled
grass, soaked earth red as the wine

of sacrament. Now, the veteran
turns toward a new field, bright
as domes of the republic. Here,

he has shrugged off the past—his jacket
and canteen flung down in the corner.
At the center of the painting, he anchors

the trinity, joining earth and sky.
The wheat falls beneath his scythe--
a language of bounty—the swaths

like scripture on the field’s open page.
Boundless, the wheat stretches beyond
the frame, as if toward a distant field--

the white canvas where sky and cotton
meet, where another veteran toils,
his hands the color of dark soil.