Taste of cider, of almonds.  Touch of cinnamon 

and entire acres turn the color of questions

we won’t answer tonight.  Who hallowed these halls   

out of hollowed jack-o-lanterns?   

Who planked together a church out of wind   

and the scent of rotted apples?  We peer into the living, 

the rooms of a family who believes the body  

is the cross we’re redeemed on.  We leave a cider mill 

full of any smell an apple can be pressed into.    

When red leaves eddy back to the branches 

that drop them and our last thought   

is omen, when a shadow stuffed into flannel 

and roped to a fencepost wards off the will  

to use words like right now, this world is love, 

how can I not believe the crows are units of love   

cawing it to straw?  When barns full of moon bounces 

stable inflatable cows in whose bellies every child   

in town now tumbles, how is this not a farm 

where the moon is milked?  Tonight,   

as we beat mazes through its fields, who wouldn't

pluck their shadow from a stalk and husk it?

Benjamin Goldberg lives with his wife outside Washington, D.C. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ninth Letter, The Greensboro Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Salt Hill, The Southeast Review, Devil’s Lake, and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the 2012 Gearhart Poetry Prize, the 2013 New Millennium Writings Award for Poetry, and the 2013 Third Coast Poetry Prize. He teaches high school English. Find him online at

If after reading this poem you Google “Montpelier Farms in Upper Marlboro, Maryland,” you will see one of the poem’s last images in the search return.  It will be smiling at you, just as I couldn’t help smiling as I watched my two year-old nephew see it for the first time.  From the moment we arrived, I could feel the inner stirrings that herald the creation of a poem.  Many of the initial words and images did not survive my revisions, but I resolved when I started writing this poem that its final incarnation would include the word “love.”



Copyright 2009