Haying ~ Sharon Chmielarz



Summer’s ebbing.  Wild grasses wallow around the field tree

where the tractor’s discs can’t reach, where shade


thins and folds. Out there, under the sun, the necessity

of a water bottle. Or, in the old days, a jug, a brown


ceramic jug from Ukraine, seen in Soviet Realist paintings:

laughing farm hands on a mid-morning break: bread, radish,


and water, water the unmarried sister lugs out to the field’s

chaff and heat. The sun, at a zenith in a painter’s blue sky.


This business is for horses, this discing, cutting, baling.

The field’s and tractor’s revolutions make good money


some years. Blunt and brusque, the tractor’s blade

uncovers a world of slithering snakes, pheasant chicks,


red fox, and the grass’s nomadic fragrances.  It leaves

wakes of mown hay. Bales float to the horizon. 


On the shore, the different world of house.

The tractor’s the only ship on the Ocean with a Tree.