an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


Paula Camacho


The tobacco was already harvested,
hung in barn buildings to air-cure dry
until their smooth semi-sweet smoke
could yield a high nicotine content.
We had no part in cutting the stalks,
bundling them on the wagon where
my brother and I would sit and watch
the sun shed its light over parched grass.
A two week vacation supplied our minds
with farm life. A Canadian uncle supplied
our family with hospitality. The sky supplied
our eyes with stars the city never did.
Creaky cots were our beds the farm helpers
needed no longer after harvest. We passed
our time discovering an alien life. Back then
tobacco was a friend doctors advertised
like tranquilizers on television.  We dressed,
ate, collected chicken eggs, not knowing
the future of what those barn buildings housed.

Paula Camacho is the President of the Nassau County Poet Laureate Society and moderates the Farmingdale Poetry Group. Her poems are in many anthologies and have won awards. She has published three books and four chapbooks.