Jan/Feb 2001  •   Poetry

Working Land

by Cy Dillon

Working Land

No, it's not paradise
Though I can see why you might think so
Here in the easy October light
Where the summer spent its colors in scattered late flowers and leaves
Like abandoned flames

For me it has been a purgatory
Whether washed with sweat and fatigue
Dry-mouthed and unsteady with half an acre to mow before dark
Or numb and cursing hard ground and frost
Shoveling in the night for a broken water line
Frozen after fifty years running under the unfeeling soil

But then it's not hell either
And long before the end of time
Anything I have done or suffered will be forgotten
Lost as the name of the man whose arrowhead turned up last year
In the warm earth of my garden.