John Thomas York

While a breeze parted curtains the beige cotton
decorated with ponies all running at a gallop
the wind walking through tobacco corn sorghum
the mown alfalfa raked into rows
offering an odor stronger than dried grass
wind easing through the garden
tomatoes onions okra squash poll beans
wind speaking a green whisper

I sat alone in my room in a white house
on a hundred-acre farm
my mother having left charging me with listening 
for the rattling pressure cooker 
the hiss of water dripping to the oven's large eye

I was busy with my electromagnet
wrapping a three-penny nail with insulated wire
twisting naked copper around
the posts of a nine-volt battery and I moved
the head of the long-necked bird toward
clips tacks staples on my desk
the electro-chicken pecking at its dinner with a tick and click

what current made me hold on to the light
of late afternoon a breeze
rising from the rows and parting bedroom curtains

juice still flowing after fifty years
the atoms called to attentive rows refusing to release—
something rattles and hisses behind me—
one day it will stop
as if somebody turned a switch

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