Cottonballs by Daniel Pravda

(for Keith)

It’s normal they napalm the cottonfields,
call it exfoliate, burns off the leaves
so the popping cotton comes out clean.
Soybean sunset, sorghum orange, autumn
hovers like fear of Halloween. Napalm fragrance
of piss and gasoline, cropdusters like
Apocalypse Now helicopters, more like horseflies.

Pretty damn quiet at the close
of the day, the dusk of the year.
The empty road between the fields
feels no need to boast.
Cotton is a lovely crop: snowy, foamy,
a field of q-tips, best case scenario
for an unlucky paratrooper.

Contrast with crimson barns and rusty trees,
viny silos and giant blue balers
dragging, trudging, rumbling, leaving
off-white houses of plastic wrap
and four-foot cottonballs
blowing across the road like fog.