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Century Farm

Poetry Contest 2011 Winners: Third Place

White clapboard worn to silver sits
straddling the crest of a dark wave of soil, 
sailing a froth of sand atop the dark, implacable earth.
Below us in the trough, hidden now by the spray
off June's green bowsprit runs the river, 
the current towards which we are slowly, 
inexorably crashing, the hill a wave that reared
past glaciers, has been traveling back 
ever since to the depths, slumping 
under the weight of us: a century
at least of cowbells and beehives,
of pitchforks and silo staves,
whiskey bottles and bailing twine.
Our five generations mere flotsam and jetsam, 
derelict cargo borne along on the current of years.
Just detritus to be swept under the keel.
The earth plows itself, slowly turning us all under. 


Jessi Peterson lives in a hand-built cordwood house on land her great grandfather settled, surrounded by her family, far too many books, and an insufferable cat. She works at the public library in Eau Claire serving children and young adults.

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