Issue 24 | Winter 2020


Riven under the sun,
seed-heads lean in rhythm
as if crowns of gleaners 
bowing. Golden, they gather wind.
I love you where yellow bends.
By culm and blade, breezes pluck
at grasses, columns hollowed
in their own rising. This wild-grown field,
once ploughed fallow then abandoned
when the money ran out,
leads me east, chaff by chaff, past the season
of rain, the last of freshets pooled
still, trapped in the basin
just west of the fence line.

High summer has fired this pond green.
Grass burns blonder. I love you beyond the tips
of my fingers and the afternoon transfigures.
Littered from a distant Christmas,
a ribbon lingers, faded
from emerald glory, its tatter
snagged to a barb where wire
unscrolls along the roadside, paling
to paling.  As if in a ligature
thrown by the sun, that streamer knots
tighter than chlorophyll dying
the length of our star.

Each husk-arrayed seed crown
sways the drowse of this moment.
That easy sifting unlocks
light and lifts a slow sighing.
I love you skin deep.
Wind-strung grasses shift. They gather
that which threshes. As each winter
passes into our kisses, crystalline
and brilliant, a harvest
gathers in my mouth, what my reaping
parses. And this wind hisses extinct
cinders. What I must glean.
What I most tenderly
hasp-to in an old sleep.

Filed under: Poetry

Peter Munro is a fisheries scientist who works in the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, and Seattle. Munro’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in such journals as Poetry, the Beloit Poetry Journal, the Iowa Review, the Birmingham Poetry Review, Rattle, and Poetry Northwest. Listen to more poems at