30 Days Hath September 2016 | Day 1 | Lay Down by Ann Fisher-Wirth

October 1, 2016



BEI 30 Days Proposed Graphic

                                                                   Ann Fisher-Wirth

Lay Down


The day lays down

first summer heat

as we drive

from Clarksdale

past cotton silos

pecan trees

Baptist churches

little swamps with

floating trash

maybe an egret

one-lane roads

leading off

into cotton

or alfalfa fields

and a yellow


gassing up

getting ready

to spray poison




My husband tells me

Dylan’s 75 today

first time I heard him

Baez pulled his

scrawny ass on stage

to sing Blowin’ in

the Wind maybe

                               Hattie Carroll

at the Berkeley

Folk Music Festival

where Lightnin’

Hopkins dragged

a straightback

wooden chair

to a single mike

and in that summer

of snarling dogs

on the end of chains

and fire hoses that I’d

watch every night

on TV and vow

never never never

to live in the South

Hopkins sang

I’m gonna walk with

               the Prince of Peace

                                           down by the riverside

                            down by the riverside



Ann Fisher-Wirth’s fourth book of poems is Dream Cabinet (Wings Press 2012). Her other books of poems are Carta Marina, Blue Window, and Five Terraces. With Laura-Gray Street, she coedited the groundbreaking Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity UP, 2013, 2014). She has been awarded residencies at The Mesa Refuge; Djerassi Resident Artists Program; Hedgebrook; and CAMAC/Centre d’Art, Marnay, France. Her current project is a collaborative poetry/photography manuscript called Mississippi with the acclaimed photographer Maude Schuyler Clay, which Wings Press will publish in 2017. Photographs and letterpress poems from this project are currently on exhibit throughout Mississippi. Ann is a Fellow 2015-2018 of the Black Earth Institute and the recipient of two senior Fulbrights (Switzerland, Sweden). She teaches and directs the Environmental Studies program at the University of Mississippi.



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