The Cotton Pickers
by Benjamin Nash

Flies, dust, the
cotton pickers are
children and they
see white in the
sun, their faces,
everywhere, on
their bare feet,
the long stretch
of the bags, the
dog watching for
rattlesnakes, a
Gila monster, in
the salt of their
sweat, and in the
clouds. They see
water in the rain
that doesn't fall,
a mirage, in a
mason jar in the
shade, a cactus,
and in the cotton
that will pay for
their new shoes,
a new dress, the
rent, food, and
a chance for the
cotton pickers to
go back to school.

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