‘Rushing to Get the Hay In’ by Reid McGrath The Society July 30, 2013 Beauty, Poetry 2 Comments The Farmer’s Wife He may as well be sitting on a piece Of junk john-boat out on some open lake. The field is shorn, divested of its fleece. The hay is tedded and the rusty rake Is resting now beside the tree-lined wall, Next to the tedder, stilly looking on, Like two quaint collies waiting for a call; While there, in wagon, stacking, is my son. While there, cat-black, looms a portentous cloud, White-veined with light, or crackled, like a glass; And there, my husband, donkey, that’s too proud, Endangers himself and my son, alas. But then again if we don’t have the hay: We prob’ly won’t last winter anyway. The Farmer Oh press on honey we are almost there. Most faithful tractor that I’ve ever owned. Pulling a baler that pulls up the hair Of Mother Earth which she has kindly loaned. Which we in turn will feed to hungry kine; And store in mow where dust shines down in slants; And feed it out right through the wintertime. The cows will spread it like some active ants. I am not worried; I believe in you. No rain will touch our sun-dried, fragrant hay. My wife’s a wart who doesn’t have a clue. No lightning will touch down on us today. My son, too busy, cannot count the gap Betwixt the lightning and the thunder’s rap. The Farmer’s Son I cannot think; it’s sad; I haven’t time. The bales come quick the quicker that he goes. My hands are creased and cut from the harsh twine. We bounce along over the humpbacked rows. I bounce and jerk and blist with hands quite numb; The field like some flag striped without the stars; My body scratched and broiled by the sun; We war with Nature yet we love these wars. Lo and behold I see the dark thing too, Out of the corner of my mote-fraught eye. I cannot look and yet I know the blue Is flagging to the black that’s coming nigh. As long as I’m his son: I cannot quit; No matter if, with lightning bolt, we’re hit. Reid McGrath is a poet living and working in the Hudson Valley. Featured Image: “Thunderstorm over Dordrecht,” Aelbert Cuyp, (Museum: Buehrle Collection) Related Post ‘Ode to the Great Highland Pipes’ by Joseph Char... For Bill Horn Send up on wings of blood our fathers’ cry, Though the unhearing dead brook not your sound, And flesh yet binds us to the groaning gr... Tell the world:FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestRedditLinkedInEmail 2 Responses kerry rawlinson July 30, 2013 LOVELY! with all the “angst” poetry out there, it’s so refreshing to read a poem that actually taps into the essence of our lives: earth; cultivation; life and death. Reply Bruce Dale Wise August 6, 2013 Thunderstorm Over Dordrecht, Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) The vast sky stretches high up over buildings and occasionally trees of moderate height on the far horizon. Jagged lightning holds command and crackles forth th’ electrical phenomenon that travels down sky’s thoroughfare above Dordrecht, the brilliant gold against the smoky-black cloud-spawn. Below, three windmills turn. The cows, seen in perspect, are calm, content; they do not overcompensate, react immoderately, nor jerk or act berzerk, to flashing lightning bolts. They simply rest sedate. There’s no new thing that they will come to understand; not much will change; there’s nothing they anticipate. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.