sea of green

Texas weeps over dust… once fields
Mississippi over mud

While next to my house
In Cowtown, Colorado
An Alfalfa man smiles
A bit.

Alfalfa is a
Sacred Sea
Dad says,
so rich in nutrients.
more like peanuts than grass
a person could live on it.

wise ancient Chinese doctors
prescribed it for eons
old and new Boulder hippies eat the sprouts.

a precision plant
requiring skill, pH balancing.
chemicals.

Water
Water
Water.
But not too much for its drought tolerant
50 foot roots drown.
Deadly to the beasts raw,
Dried like a precious cow drug.
Perfectly.
Too dry?
The leaves
. . leave
Only the stem. No value.
Too wet? Spontaneous combustion.

So important is alfalfa
That the tiny town of
Sterling has a festival called
Hay Days.
my beautiful and talented
sister in law stood, smiling
microphone in hand
roasting in the choking greenish clouds.
Next to square balers
Round balers
1 ton balers,
Sugar coating hay
For her farming radio fan club.

Hay isn’t something most people ever think about.
But all the world round,
its plenty stands between starvation

in Texas, over another brown meal of canned pinto beans
A farmer bows his dusty head in the brown heat
And weeps yet another fervent prayer

For his lost Sea of Green

2 comments

  1. Wow! What a way to describe the value of alfalfa! I know the smell of fresh cut alfalfa. It is so nice! I have also seen the drought in Texas first hand and the heart ache that lives with it. I know the contentment of the cattle while feeding on the sweet tasting chopped alfalfa mixed with the delicious smell of corn silage! After being feed the cattle would lick all of the feed bunks clean! Alfalfa, the wonderful smell and taste of it that I will never forget!

  2. Authors note, my Dad, from a farming family in eastern Nebraska provided all the words for this poem in an email. He allows an errant patch of residual alfalfa to grow at the corner of his Denver house to remember.

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