Santee Frazier

Mama’s Work

Mama tucked the coffee can between her wrist and hip
and walked down Dry Creek Road. Her eyes lined-up,
blush and lipstick, her Levi shorts cut above the thigh.
And what it was to see those farmers cutting down wheat,
side-glancing mama, barefoot and brown. Sometimes it’s flour,
sometimes money when she empties the can. Her work
in the quiet corners of barns on the hay, on hot days
when locusts launch themselves out of thickets.
I stare down Dry Creek Road looking for her wrist and hip,
her splayed hair and small toes walking out of a pone-colored dust.


Santee Frazier
“Mama’s Work” appears in Dark Thirty (University of Arizona Press, 2009).