Chris Cocca, Well past the harvest

Bear and Mountain

Every girl in this town
named after Munsee words
(bear and mountain)
had the same outcropped knees
the same pair of jean shorts
the same summer legs
contoured in dust.
Silver bellies, green bruises, the leaves of white maple,
banded birch arms, the pale of their palms prayed for rain.
Every girl in this town seemed wed to the mountain,
every boy in this town was a bear.
I had come down the trail head in tent grass and hemlock
to the burning of laurel
in dusk’s quelling shade.

Well Past the Harvest

The pony ranch famer
with Trump signs in the yard
and the equestrian son (more renowned),
the turkey hawks sunning their wings
in his stover.

The son’s room, ribbons and medals,
a bumper of satin and loving-cup shine
untouched since the boy left for college
which the pony ranch farmer still paid for
as if to say
what might have changed things,
what would have.
Outside the silos are full.

And the son
with his own ranch
a few homesteads over,
his own stables and grounds
falls asleep mulling the debt
of genetics and language
and love of the land
and the creatures
and the unreasonable height
of domestication,
the father with quiet eyes
and passionate hands
and the certainty of almanacs
and other hedged bets.

They have both seen the ringed moon
with no break in the weather,
the silver dollar, Dad called it,
encircled like Christ on his throne,
the waiting world pregnant,
the winter held off,
the strongest mares
birthing dead foals.

They have their spoken peace,
pyrite and coal shards turned over in tilling,
a sunning of vultures
well past the harvest.

Chris Cocca is a writer from Allentown, Pennsylvania. His stories, essays, and poems have been published by Hobart, Brevity, Pindeldyboz, elimae, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of the Creager Prize for Creative Writing at Ursinus College and is a graduate of the New School’s MFA program in Creative Writing.

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