Spring Plowing

 

God knows it's slow work, especially

when March streams like a broken faucet,

or gluttonous snows fall through February.

 

You batter the gates till you can't stand it,

then you try ... Next thing you know,

you're axle deep in a dead furrow

 

or your rig sinks like a big green boat

above some broken drain tile. You can bury

yourself in any square foot that lies low.

 

But you can only gnaw the stall door so long.

My dead father would curse the weather

for days or weeks at a time, hovering

 

inside the kitchen like a dry gray cloud,

having changed the oil in every engine

and greased each conceivable part,

 

waiting, waiting, good God, for better weather.

And that, gentle reader, is why I left

the goddamn farm.

 

But there were other days, magazine-cover,

tractor-ad days, when the ground turned itself

over, the way a woman unpeels her robe,

 

anxious to be loved. The very wind

smelled of apple flowers and diesel smoke,

and you believed you were born for a reason.

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