‘Fallow’ By Don Thompson

Fallow (1)

The last crop to suffer on this field
had be be plowed under.

No water—
or none that anyone could afford.

Russian thistle has a lease now,
until the wind evicts it.

A hawk circling overhead
shrugs and drifts away hungry…

This place makes you think about
what it means to be fallow.

And how closer than that hawk is,
the Aqueduct rushes south

overflowing with, so it seems,
all the water there is.


Fallow (2)

Sunlight so thin and so dry
it crumbles, settling like dust.

Without water, roots
have learned how to live on illusions.

No scrub grows above knee-high,
spindly and infirm—

and a green of some sort
you’ll soon have to call gray.


Don Thompson has been writing about the San Joaquin Valley for over fifty years, including a dozen or so books and chapbooks.  A San Joaquin Almanac won the Eric Hoffer Award for 2021 in the chapbook category. For more info and links to publishers, visit his website: www.don-e-thompson.com.

Photo By Dave Parker

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