Near Belmont

by Jory Mickelson

Past dark fields of winter
wheat, each hill swells and troughs
the talk between my grandmother and me. The further we travel,
the less the landscape changes, just vague
waves in the blooming dark, the pollen
of yellow farmhouse lights.
She never speaks about her father, but tonight—

When I was little, my mother would send
     us girls to her mother’s house for meals. By the end
of the month there’d be no money; my father, he
     drunk it up. Your great-great gran was stern,
she didn’t smile. She gave us food.

That is all I ever heard of him,
this almost shadow stretched across
the woman next to me, ’til we are
lost among the night-black rows
which continue to unfurl, each mile marker
the quiet measure of our raveling home.