Hiram Larew

Bets the Branches

Like you
I am whoever
loses at clouds
or bets the branches

I am lights flashing from underneath
to up above
to the come on leer of gamble
like you

I am why oh why wager
just like you
and have questions that thrash me
and ideas that bluff

I am these games with no reason
like birds risking winter
while chirping malarkey

And like you
I start with what’s spinning round
or with whatever I am dealt —
to chance upon love
in woods’ wander

Then I end up where I become
some cards wanted
or seeds scattered
Or a sudden fully knowing
shaking its heads
at the fenced fields
where like you
there once were trees


Harvest Prayer

And oh
While these gourded pails hum as wings or handles
And day-stems feast over fences’ tilth
with children’s knees in flings of straw

And oh
As these calloused clouds that harvests span
with leaves aglow
as rows of rakes sing bounty’s ring

And for this time of oh that grows as part of
and for this time that shovels up —
This weeding forth

And oh
To walk out
open into this giving


Hiram Larew’s poetry has appeared widely, most recently in Poetry South, Contemporary American Voices, and Iowa Review. His latest collection, Mud Ajar, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press. www.HiramLarewPoetry and www.PoetryXHunger.com