Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PORTRAIT BY PICHER, by FRANCES BAKER

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PORTRAIT BY PICHER, by            
First Line: There are not many leaves
Last Line: Bend wearily above the earth.
Subject(s): Family Life; Relatives

There are not many leaves.
There was no time for trees
When Picher was born.
But now there are small trees
That make a little shade.
The children play in the dust
The mellow, hot, hot dust
Along the broken sidewalks.
The houses squat low on the ground.
The houses stare, and hug a tailing pile.
The children run up and down
And over and across --
(And -- occasionally --
one is drowned
in the mill ponds left unguarded);
The husbands come wearily home
With an empty battered dinner bucket
In one hand
And a powder box in the other.
When the sun stares around a rock pile
Across the pond --
They come wearily home in the evening.
The children run barefoot to meet them;
The fathers are as tall as the trees
And they as the trees
Bend wearily above the earth.

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