Fielder
Fielder Farm in August
Huntington, Vermont
by Tricia Knoll

As I drove there, the sun rose with clarity.
I ceded to it a new day’s optimism despite the radio’s
grim announcements of displacement, loss, and panic
in Afghanistan. I relish the Abenaki meaning of Dawnland
for this land of clean sky, green woods, goldenrod’s bloom,
and silage corn spurting up in rolled fields.

Here, six pregnant Jersey cows see me and trot
down the pastured hill to an electric fence. Number 1892
offers her head for a scratch then heads to the tub of waters.
Chickens cluck-stir out from the hen house
into shadow.

This place of blueberries, eggs and plums is a clearing
in a forest of pines, sugar maples and birch
rooted in ancient bedrock’s endurance.
Day lilies maintain blooms beside the pond,
a human touch. A path for power poles cuts through
brush. Solar panels lean on the lawn toward dawnland.

People come here to read of wrongs and justice
and write poetry in community. So much
of the world slides into dwindles. We hear crickets
sing and note when they stop. We watch dragonflies
sip. A moth hides in the wheel well of a pickup. Nothing ruffles
the pond. Still thoughts and peace are not aimless.

Refuge where we find it. The Tervuren crunches ice cubes.
For this lonely woman, a walk around the pond.
Vermont’s poet laureate reads Wordsworth’s
     “Independence and Resolution.”
If I cannot let go of the people in fear in the Kabul airport,
that too is not aimless. Wishes may not bring them relief.
Nor does poetry. Perhaps hope that every dawnland

consoles with a new sun, a new day.

PHOTO: View of Fielder Farm, Huntington, Vermont. Found at fielderfarmvermont.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was one of the Vermont poets who drove out of the Huntington Valley and into the foothills on the western side of prominent Camel’s Hump to attend a day-long poetry retreat. We read poems to each other, listened to remarks from local poets and publishers, walked around the pond on the farm, petted the cows. The day started early – for me the sun was still coming up over cornfields as I found my way to the farm.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Knoll’s poetry appears widely in journals, anthologies, and five collections of poetry. How I Learned To Be White received the 2018 Human Relations Indie Book Award for Motivational Poetry. Checkered Mates came out from Kelsay Books (2021) exploring relationships that work and some that don’t. Let’s Hear It for the Horses (The Poetry Box, 2022) placed third in the press’s annual chapbook competition. Two more books – One Bent Twig (Future Cycle Press) and Wild Apples (Fernwood Press) are scheduled for publication in early 2023. Visit her at triciaknoll.com and on Twitter.