A Man Of The Land

The crop has wilted to the earth

No one told the farmer

about Nature’s cruelty;

how it breaks men

This year was the worst:

good intentions sown deep,

then teasing spring rain

Now it is almost gone –

there is nothing for the roots to seek

He holds the hot leaves and they have no life,

no veins, the cells falling in on themselves

The earth is hot and dust rises between the plants;

the sky – the bloody sky – is blue

His wife holds him at night;

wraps him in love and oil of lavender

to try to calm his heart – to show him

that she knows his torture

He wants to tell her he loves her,

that he can feel her love and warmth

but his words sink in his throat

He has a picture in his head:

it is a man standing in a field of dying corn,

buckets balanced on his shoulders

He saw the photo when he was a boy

And he thought how awful –

Now it is him and he has no answer


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