by Paul Hooker

Gaunt white giants
raise alien heads above
brown Oklahoma hilltops
three spindly-bladed arms
come winnowing through
some invisible crop
come driving before them
the last strays and stragglers
of an unseen herd.

Draw closer now and see
a sudden silent army
marching in staggered phalanx
as far as eye can see
or hope endure
permitting no escape from
their slow-slicing blades’
inexorable rhythmic swath
what one misses
the next mows down.

Closer, see at their feet,
iron heads bowed
reduced to rusted stillness
remnants of mineral might—
oil rigs
humbled frozen beneath
ineluctable whispering death,
and now clear at last
what old enemy these giants
rise from earth to slay.