Member Rara Avis
Visiting Earth on a Guest Pass
The wild tea reek of raw hay beats back
into nostrils worn ragged by the grass dust.
The sun slides like an iron down my shoulders
as I grab another bale, tight twines pulled
hard through my gloves, wanting to cut
in spite of the leather. Do it: one quick motion,
jerk-turn-lift onto to the truck and up the stack,
put it high, land it square, and get your knee
behind it or you’ll never last the day, never mind
the blisters rubbing hot under blue-gray jeans.
Get to the next bale, the truck grinding slow
while grasshoppers launch and fly like clothespins
in the yellow heat, wings clattering to a sudden halt.
The silent butterflies only search for home and shade.
Across the field the edges of the yellow tan bales
shimmer and wiggle, trying to mirage again
and hide the fence. Another bale, another,
muscles bunching, eyes sweat stung, flecks of hay
that cling where they land, arm hair rising with them.
Behind the bales, cows. Behind the cows, winter,
money, expectations. Cow voices mingle with
the sound of the engine, chuff of bales on bales,
bird sounds, hunting bugs in the stubble. At the end
a thermal, welcome as it spatters bits of straw
waist high, my shirt gone cool for long seconds while
the truck turns, to lumber across the field again.
[This message has been edited by Ratleader (02-25-2003 07:59 PM).]