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Second Cutting

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

after Claudia Emerson’s “Aftermath” in Late Wife

I think by now it may be time

for the second cutting. The summer rain

has gone, a rain that drove the horses

to shelter beneath the broadleaf maple.

They have moved to the southern pasture,

where the hay grows without seed stems.

So much hope lies in the second growth,

the promise of a better feed, mostly

grass blade and less weed.


Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s picture books, novels, and nonfiction have received dozens of awards, including the Newbery Honor, the Sibert Award and honor, the Orbis Pictus award and honor, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction honor. Her most recent titles are Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America, How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns & Their Big Idea, and two acclaimed year-based nonfiction anthologies, 1968 and 1789, co-edited with Marc Aronson. Find her at, FB, and Instagram. She may even tweet some day @scbartoletti.


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