November 2009

Bonnie Bolling


Bonnie Bolling lives in Long Beach, California. A student in the M.F.A. program at University of California, Riverside, she has poems forthcoming in The Southern Review and The Packinghouse Review. She is editor of Verdad, a magazine of literature and art, and a descendant of Robert Lowell's.


Hot sun on rusted metal,
oil on the ground,
diesel engine puttering—
the plow cuts a straight line
of wide furrows. Harrowing,
combing out with sharp teeth,
cutting the earth, pushing
the cut earth right, left, then right again,
then on up to the front forty. Up and back
through rows of twisting stalks,
past the filled silo, the sun spreading
a bloody cloth above the barn—
she's hoisted up on the tractor
and sits on the iron heart-shaped seat.  
Slow, steady, over and over
because she loves this land
more than that bank loves this land.
Hers are the people who came
to make this a place, who will keep
making this a place.  
Puffs of dust trace rivulets of sweat—
roses wild along the fence line,
honeysuckle full of bees, field mice too,  
blue-flag iris salute in the gulch,
toad in the milkweed, vetch climbing—
then she kneels in the fresh turned earth
to eat her supper. Overhead on that electrical wire,
a pair of crows quarrel and another cries from a distant field.



Bonnie Bolling: Poetry
Copyright ©2009 The Cortland Review Issue 45The Cortland Review