Some Bad Moon

Patrick Carrington



As a boy I saw these fields swollen gold

with wheat. I loved watching

the combines, the men

of calloused hands

and their satisfaction

as they grabbed the wheels

as tenderly as their women,

knowing it was time to top.


They’re gone, and the harvesters

sit crooked and grim

in reflected moonlight. They wear

the tired posture of old aunts

propped in porch chairs

to lose their dignity, to sway

and be sad until they die.


They have that vague, insulted look

in their shadowed headlights,

the silence and rusty stink

of stillborn phrases

on their tongues. Darkness bursts

from them like frightened blackbirds.


In the cracked ground there’s a footprint

pressed in hard like a fossil.

A boy’s perhaps, or the man

grown from him. Waiting long


for a rooster to bring nothing

but that same familiar crow,

and taking its own good time.



[first appeared in Flint Hills Review]


Patrick Carrington is a New Jersey poet and the poetry editor at Mannequin Envy (  and author of Thirst (Codhill, 2007), Rise, Fall and Acceptance (Main Street Rag, 2006), and the forthcoming Hard Blessings. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Connecticut Review, The Potomac Review, Rattle, The Evansville Review, The New York Quarterly, Hunger Mountain, and other journals.