Shaindel Beers’s ‘Would you know me’

Would you know me
Shaindel Beers
    
if you had met me in my natural environs
wearing the uniform
of the hardworking rural poor –
straight-legged jeans, plaid flannel,
ponytail pulled through the back
of a John Deere cap,
a nondescript girl with hair as dun as after-harvest fields,
eyes the color of a Midwestern sky
that doesn’t
even make it
to blue
nine months of the year,
a bleak heart to match the landscape
of that land where winter never ends –
  
there’s a chance you would have stopped
in August
at the roadside stand
where I used to sell the extra produce
my family could never use by season’s end –
sweet corn, twelve ears for a dollar,
tomatoes, still warm from the sun –
you would have named your price and maybe wondered
  
about that quiet girl
who deftly filled your bags,
her small hands,
fingers flat and broad from honest work,
but you never would have thought
of all that she had done for your
dollar ninety-five –
hefting hay to feed the calves
and shoveling mounds of warm
manure to fertilize the soil months before
those tomatoes and corn
were pushed into the earth,
dropping fat green tomato bugs into coffee cans
of gasoline, pulling weeds in ninety-degree
sun so the ears would grow full
and yellow and ripe
 
so you could take them away
and forget me
until you meet me years later
in my favorite disguise – sophisticated city-dweller
where I am cast under silver lunar streams
in a platinum glow, no longer
grey and dun,
a new creature,
and you could proclaim it destiny.
  
  
Read more about Shaindel and order your copy of her striking collection, A Brief History of Time (Salt Publishing, 2009), here.
  
More tomorrow on Shaindel’s “On the hood of a Cutlass Supreme” Tour. 

6 thoughts on “Shaindel Beers’s ‘Would you know me’

  1. Michelle Post author

    Hi Manish.

    Isn’t it, Jo?

    C, wait until you see Shaindel’s photograph. Her hair looks like silk.

    The collection is beautiful and sad and strong.

  2. Janri

    Figurativeness …
    The reader as though starts to recollect something from ‘the biography’ of the author …
    Perfectly …

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