LYING IN A HAMMOCK AT WILLIAM DUFFY’S FARM IN PINE ISLAND, MINNESOTA
by James Wright
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.
James Wright (1927-1980) was an American poet whose 1972 Collected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize. He is considered as one of America’s finest contemporary poets in his command of language and style.