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.