“When Field Work is Done”

“When Field Work is Done”
(c) 2021 by Michael L. Utley

When field work is done and soil tells
A tale of fragrant earth in russet tones
When ground-mist hunkers in secluded dells
And eventide descends upon the swells
Of solemn and discordant distant bells

I follow god-beams west, these tired bones
Sun-gilded in the cool remains of day
As fields pass beside the cobblestones
And honey-hives a-swarm with buzzing drones
And cudding cow in pasture lows and moans

The neighbor’s barn, a faded sun-bleached gray
Leans sleepily as I approach the bend
Where cobblestones succumb to moistened clay
And farm cats mouse-hunt stealthily in hay
And foals and piglets gambol as they play

Ripe apple trees stretch roadward to suspend
Their fruits to all who amble past below
And conifers at orchard’s distant end
Stand sentry as if ready to defend
This past’ral scene from all who might offend

And I, as evening stars begin to glow
And insects tune their instruments and sing
Their night-song, wend my way beside the slow
And clam’rous brook that gleams not far below
As moon peeks through the pines and winks hello

And pausing, I can’t help remembering
The lonely hearth that waits at home, the still
And barren house, silent, unwelcoming
The empty bed, no candle beckoning
No one who waits upon my homecoming

I watch the moon as noisy waters rill
Then close my eyes and breathe in willow-air
And stand alone in darkling evening’s chill
And tell myself through iron force of will
To swallow yet again this bitter pill

Then turning back the way I came, I stare
Into the gloaming’s ever-deep’ning hue
As tired feet propel me through the glare
Of starlit tears that blind and shame, and there
In dim distance the fate I’m doomed to bear

I run as moonlit field comes into view
For nothing’s left but field work to do

5 thoughts on ““When Field Work is Done”

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