Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
by James Wright
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,Asleep on the black trunk,Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.Down the ravine behind the empty house,The cowbells follow one anotherInto the distances of the afternoon.To my right,In a field of sunlight between two pines,The droppings of last year’s horsesBlaze up into golden stones.I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.I have wasted my life.
James Wright, “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota” from Above the River: The Complete Poems and Selected Prose. Copyright � 1990 by James Wright. Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Thanks to my friend, Claiborne Barksdale, for reminding me of these wonderful words.