Still Necessary

by Lisa Rhoades

All weekend a kernel of loss 
nudged me along, October 
does that sometimes, each morning 
a little darker on the staircase 
out of summer. 
I am looking for mercies this Monday: 
for my body to ache less, 
for my marriage to feel 
like purple asters—sturdy and sweet
reaching out by the steps 
a late gift to the bees—
instead of like a field sculpted by hurt,
seeded with a crop never meant 
for summer feasts, not  
Ambrosia, Nirvana, or Silver Queen 
just dent corn, tough and stripped 
from its stalks, scattered 
in the combine’s wake,
but still necessary, still food.

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