farm kid

I wake before the cock crows
the palest promise of dawn,
spread the feed in gentle throws,
out ‘cross the chickens’ lawn.
And now to the cabbage rows,
loathsome, lousy with thistle.
in everything a bramble grows –
for fat you must have gristle –
and taking up my draw-hoe,
smooth-grained from the handling
my thoughts return to trails I know,
the brambles in my ambling.

Farm Hands (4/9/18)

My hands scratch clay-rich dirt
As did my father’s, and his, and his;
With roughshod nails on leather fingers,
Long but without slenderness
Made solid by the task.

Those hands hefted these same loads,
Bore the seeds of past promise,
(These planted shells have always grown)
Pushed the same heavy plows and
Tamed the land with selfsame toil;
But on the earth lusts for our labor,
With gruesome gulps she
Grows these fields.

I put aside these cloying thoughts
And scratch another seed in.