J.T. Ledbetter

May 21, 2019 Ledbetter J.T.


Twelve inches, specific as a nail,
floating green-brown
on the water,
quiet as a log.
I turned to look
at it—
(usually flushing fast,
ashamed to look)
and I saw it
charging through
miles of burnished
drains, driving like
a bull-headed whale
to the Pacific.
And I wondered at that—
with a kind
of pride.




Douze pouces specifiques, comme un clou,

vert-brun flottant

sur l’eau

calme commee un journal.

Je me tournai pour le regarder

(habituellement le rincage rapide,
\ ,
honte a regarder)

et je l’ai vu

a travers

miles de charge de

la conduite de vidange, brunie comme
un taureau-whatle dirges

vers le Pacifique.
Et je me demandais a qui–

avec une sorte

de fierte.

Among J.T Ledbetter’s credits are POETRY, PLOUGHSHARES, AMERICAN LITERARY REVIEW, THE SOUTHERN REVIEW, PRAIRIE SCHOONER, POET LORE, and others.  His poems often concern people and farms who are  beat down by poor crops and bad weather. Charles Van Doren calls Ledbetter’s work “a report of a vanishing world that was always achingly inarticulate and therefore of violent. Heart.” His latest collection is OLD AND LOST RIVERS, Lost Horse Press.