In the Orchard

by Chad Sweeney

I count the apples on my abacus.

My abacus with one bead.

The fallen law and the ripening law.
The law of multiplication.

I count the seasons in each orchard,
the orchards in each apple.

The law of what continues.

A pickup slaps the wet of the bridge.
It’s Sunday, rendered in black and white.

The migrant workers are napping, their children
play hide-and-seek, passing in and out

of time.

is making a film about them,
with the sound of their laughter

turned low.

CHAD SWEENEY is the author of three books of poetry, Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James, 2010), Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga, 2009), and An Architecture (BlazeVOX, 2007) and editor of Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds: The Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose (City Lights, 2009). Sweeney’s work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Crazyhorse, New American Writing, Colorado Review, Black Warrior, and elsewhere. He is coeditor of Parthenon West Review and is working toward a Ph.D. in literature at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where he teaches poetry and serves as assistant editor of New Issues Press.