MAKING A LIVING
Out here where we make our living
on a farm we won't let die,
work days last as long as I do
then while I sleep my shadow-work
goes on in dreams of you
juggling to set a roof beam, but
whichever end you aren't gripping
slips, and no one to help you hold.
Some nights my mind's dream-worker
can't find food to feed us,
or there's food but I can't reach it.
Last night while we were both asleep
I searched for paying work,
but everyone said, "Go home and finish
your jobs that need doing there." How?
Work done for love is never done.
Each evening I stow our tools
in the shed like hound pups
hot and spent. Time for them to rest
as I need rest. I wish I could believe
each day winds down to done,
each night brings perfect sleep,
but I've made the bed we lie in
with extra covers,
knowing nights can start hot, end cold,
and knowing work carried over to dreams
is one of the darker sides of our living.
— Dana Wildsmith
from One Good Hand: Poems © Iris Press, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Tickle the earth with a hoe,
it will laugh a harvest.
~ author unknown
A FARM PICTURE
Through the ample open door of the peaceful country barn,
A sunlight pasture field with cattle and horses feeding,
And haze and vista, and the far horizon fading away.
— Walt Whitman, from Whitman: Poetry and Prose. © Viking